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A Practical Manual 







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a. General Remarks .......... 7 

6. Musical Characterization ......... 8 

c. Thematic Development 8 

d. Transition and Modulation 13 

e. Transposition ........... 21 

/. Improvisation . . . .. . . . . . .22 




2. "FLASH-BACKS" 34 








a. How to Sit at the Organ ......... 44 

6. Pedalling 45 

c. Independence of Hands and Feet ....... 46 

d. Staccato and Legato Touch ........ 47 

e. Registration ........... 47 





CONCLUSION ............. 61 




THAT music is an invaluable and necessary aid to the success and enjoy- 
ment of moving pictures, is a fact which no one will deny. But the accom- 
panying, or illustrating, music must be of the right kind, or else its very 
aim will be defeated. Unfortunately, the right kind of "picture music" 
is something that is not universally understood, and the musician, no 
matter how learned he may be in his trade, is beset by a great many 
problems, when he attempts to follow and illustrate in music the fast- 
moving film. This book is not intended to exhaust a subject which is 
almost unlimited in its aspects, but it rather endeavors to lay down a few 
safe and dependable rules and courses of action from which any student 
of these problems may make his own deductions and develop his own 
personal style. For nothing would be more tedious or impracticable than 
to attempt uniformity where variety and individuality are the essentials. 
The most successful and highest-paid player is the one whose style is the 
most distinctive. When you analyze this distinction, you will find that it 
is mainly based on certain characteristics of his personality, such as 
intelligence, quick perception, realization of dramatic values, insight in 
human psychology, and well-grounded musical technique. But aside 
from these factors, there is one quality which the player requires above all, 
and which this book primarily intends to awaken and develop. That 
quality is resourcefulness. 

With resourcefulness the average player of even mean endowments 
may fit himself to follow any kind of picture that may be thrown on the 
screen. This resourcefulness extends in two different directions : one of 
them is the musical training which must aim to perfect facility in improvi- 
sation ; the other is a cultivation of taste and a sense of fitness in adapting 
musical material to the pictured scene. We shall try, in the following 
paragraphs, to give practical hints in both of these directions. Therefore 
this book may be considered as a "first-aid" manual for the beginner in 
the field of moving picture music. 

The prime function of the music that accompanies moving pictures is 
to reflect the mood of the scene in the hearer's mind, and rouse more 



readily and more intensely in the spectator the changing emotions of the 
pictured story. One hears much music in the "movies" that is as foreign 
to the action on the screen as anything could be, and frequently actually 
kills the effect of the photographer's art. Producers have been quick to 
realize this danger, and therefore many pictures are being released with 
minute instructions concerning the music that is to accompany them. 
(See ill. p. 60.) But even so, the player will require some training to do 
the music and the picture justice, and will succeed best if his mental 
alertness and his musical resourcefulness work hand in hand. 



THE player will do well, first of all, to "size up" his audience. Hardly 
two theatres in any place cater to exactly the same crowd. What "goes" 
in one house, "falls flat" in another. He will therefore have to experiment 
and judge carefully what road to follow. But it should be stated right 
at the beginning, and strongly emphasized, that most audiences are mis- 
judged in that they are capable of much more education and cultivation 
than they are generally given credit for. He is a lazy and sterile player 
who is satisfied that what he is giving his audience is "good enough." 
The standards of good and bad music may vary according to country and 
clime. But it would not be hard to agree on desirable and undesirable 
material for the musical accompaniment of moving pictures. Its first 
requisite is fitness. The player will determine this according to his 
lights and to the measure of his taste. It is well to choose from among 
the contemporaneous popular music such numbers as have become iden- 
tified with certain emotions, either of patriotism, joy, or sadness. The 
audience will grasp quickest what it is fairly familiar with, and sometimes 
a short strain from, or mere suggestion of, a popular number will go a long 
way toward telling its story. The classical repertoire, on the other hand, 
is an inexhaustible treasure trove for all who seek diligently and patiently. 

As the musical interpreter of the emotions depicted on the screen, the 
player himself must be emotional and respond to the often quick changes 
in the situation. In fact, if not his knowledge of life, his knowledge of the 
picture must enable him to anticipate, so that his music is always slightly 
ahead of the film, preparing rather than reflecting. Therefore the player's 
eyes should be on the screen as constantly as possible, and never for too long 
a stretch on the music or on the keyboard. His attention should be riveted 
on the turn of events, his emotions should promptly respond to pathos or 
humor, to tragedy or comedy, as they may be interwoven in the picture 
play. A keen sense of humor is a necessary requirement in his make-up. 
But his wit should be capable of attuning itself to various gradations, from 
subtle irony to broad "slap-stick" farce and horse-play. 



Mental alertness is needed in quickly "locating" the musical atmosphere 
for a picture. If a scene is laid in, or suddenly shifted to the Orient, if 
in the news section of the performance the film should portray a scene in a 
foreign country, music of a corresponding nature will make the picture 
"get over" much more successfully than would the indifferent playing of 
a waltz tune. The player must be exceedingly careful not to "italicise" 
the situation so that it becomes distorted or burlesqued. Therefore he 
should refrain from all excesses. A case in point may be cited here. In 
the series of Burton Holmes's "travel pictures" the "Tagalog Toilers of 
Luzon" in the Philippines are shown, planters and reapers of rice. These 
toilers, hard-working men and women, are pictured in the act of threshing 
the cereal, which they accomplish by a peculiar and complicated treading 
of the sheaves with their feet, resembling for all the world a weird dance. 
With a monotonous rhythm in the bass and an exotic inflection of the 
melody, the strangeness and primitiveness of the scene would stand out, 
the long and patient toil of the threshers would be apparent, the photog- 
rapher's aim would be gained. Instead, the musician plays a Broadway 
cabaret tune, with plenty of "jazz"; the house is roaring with laughter 
and the photographer's intended lesson is lost ! 

This leads to the remark that flippancy and facetiousness are wholly out 
of place in a serious and educational picture. The player's attitude of 
mind should always be one of interest, never betray tiredness or boredom. 
Nothing is more quickly sensed by an audience than the inattentiveness 
and indifference of the player. 

In order to illustrate properly in music the happenings on the screen, 
the musician should be endowed with psychological insight. Many books 
on the subject are within reach of the student, and enough of them are 
written in so popular a vein that they can be understood and read with 
profit by the layman. Human nature, in spite of its complication, can 
be reduced to a rather limited field of observation, so far as the "movies" 
are concerned. There is more or less resemblance between a great many 
films. The intrigue is very often the same, the emotions follow each other 
in a given circle, the development varies but slightly. The law of com- 
pensation rules supreme, virtue receives its reward, crime its punishment. 
Love and hatred, hope and despair, harrowing moments of tension and 
episodes of comic relief make up the bulk of moving pictures. Such 
fundamental emotions, and their related affections, should be carefully 
studied by the player ; he should be able readily to recognize them, and 
he should seek to express them in turn by means of music. In order to do 
this successfully, he should not wait until he is in the theatre and the film 
has started. He should devote hours of study to the carrying out of a pre- 
conceived plan by which he sets himself the task of playing or improvising 


music that corresponds to these basic moods of human nature. In other 
words, he should put himself successively into a frame of mind that is the 
equivalent of happiness or grief, of quiet contemplation or hurried flight, 
of hope attained or shattered dreams. With sympathetic curiosity he 
should study the mental processes by which human actions are guided, he 
should learn to distinguish between noble and dastardly motives. Music 
is a speech more subtle and pliant than that of mere words, and a sensitive 
player is capable of conveying, more clearly than the spoken word could 
do, what the thought or gesture of the film actor may imply. 

The player should, above all, learn to read facial expressions. Since 
the actor, deprived of speech, must emphasize his emotions by facial play, 
the twinkle in his eye, a furrow of his brow, a look, or a smile are the only 
manifestations of his thought. These the player must learn to distinguish 
and to recognize instantly. Music, it may as well be stated, cannot always 
shift as quickly as will the facial play of the actor in some scene or other. 
It will then behoove the player to give the keynote of the situation with 
illustrative strains. However, a word of caution may be added here, 
that one should not rely too much on such methods, since nothing heightens 
the enjoyment and effect of a film more strongly than a close and minute 
following of every phase of the photo play, with due regard to musical 

A good memory is a valuable help to the player. Not only should he 
try to memorize certain compositions as a whole, but he should especially 
furnish his storehouse of remembered music with stock phrases and 
motives, adapted to different moods, so that he can always draw from this 
library in his head. He should also try to remember certain films, the 
development of the story, the sequence of situations, so that he may 
anticipate the effect by recognizing the cause. Since popular wisdom has 
it that sunshine always follows upon rain, that the harvest shall be as the 
planting, the psychologist of the " movies" generally finds that the story 
of the film follows this popular line of thought. The memorizing of certain 
music that fits certain situations, of special musical effects that characterize 
particular incidents, is the surest way by which the player can keep himself 
always ready for emergencies. Thus alone can he gain security and ease 
in his playing! 

It remains to say a few words about "theatrical values." The player 
should never forget that he is not playing an organ or piano recital, but 
that he is furnishing theatrical music for a theatrical production. Tragedy 
and comedy are built on the basis of ancient and well-recognized rules. 
As the play progresses, gains impetus, presents its problems and intrigues, 
gradually reaches its climax and leads to the solution, so should the music 
advance and follow the march of events with an ever increasing intensity. 


The graphic illustration of certain theatrical situations will be treated of 
later. Suffice it here to say that there are times when a situation becomes 
so intense that even music fails to express it, and that nothing but a moment 
of silence can give an actual realization to the spectator. If a play demands 
"local color" the music should unmistakably give it or approximate it at 
least. The lighting of a picture, whether in full sunlight or veiled by the 
shadows of dusk, will govern the intensity of tone that the player draws from 
the instrument. The "speed" with which the action progresses will 
influence the tempo of the music. One may go so far as to say that the very 
scenery of the picture can be hinted at in tones. A peaceful, blossoming 
landscape will demand music different from that which will fit a bleak and 
desolate mountain region. The bustle of city life will require music of 
faster tempo than the placid village square. 

Nothing can give a better idea of what good moving picture music 
should be, than the careful study of successful operas. Therein the welding 
of action and music is so close, that they cannot be separated ; the musical 
characterization amounts to a labelling of each singer with a pertinent phrase 
or motive. Take as an instance the opera "Carmen" by Bizet. "Local 
color" is given by a predominance of rhythms familiarly associated with 
Spanish music. Watch the handling of the crowds, the excited populace 
in the first act, the hilarious dancers in the second, the mysterious smugglers 
in the third, the stately and gay procession in the fourth. Mark the 
voluptuous and alluring airs of Carmen herself, in the first act, contrasted 
with the simple and sweet melodies that are given to Micaela, the innocent 
country maiden. Note the dramatic effect of the motive of foreboding 
and doom, first sounded in the third act, when the cards invariably point 
to Carmen's death. The use of this motive, in the fourth act, becomes un- 
canny and achieves the height of theatrical impressiveness. One of the 
finest modern examples of graphic stage music is Puccini's opera "Tosca." 
Each character is treated in a manner that reveals the essential traits of 
his or her nature. Every measure in the orchestra fits the situation on the 
stage. Love scenes of unequalled fervor are followed by those of brutality, 
of tragedy and horror. Attention should be called to the beautiful por- 
trayal in music of dawn breaking over the city of Rome, at the beginning of 
the third act. 

Similar instances could be named without number. The diligent student 
will search for himself in the vast operatic literature for passages that be- 
come universally adaptable and will form his most effective stock in trade. 
Then, there are a great many songs which by their words have become 
associated with certain thoughts or emotions, and which the player should 
be able to call upon without the notes, if necessary. There are a great 
many pleasing salon pieces of the lighter kind that will prove particularly 


useful for comedies and some of the shorter film plays. Music generally 
associated with such events as weddings, funerals, patriotic exercises, 
parades, special seasons of the year, boat songs, college songs, church 
hymns, and the like, should all be in the player's fingers, ready to answer 
instantaneous calls. 

a. General Remarks 

It goes without saying that the player should constantly aim to improve 
his musicianship and to develop his technique, that of the fingers alone, 
if he uses the piano, that of keys and pedals, if he plays the organ. Since 
the latter instrument has become predominant in most moving picture 
houses, we shall concentrate upon its special technique. This calls 
immediately for a word regarding organ registration. The player should 
familiarize himself with the peculiarities of each stop, select the most 
effective, and avoid the defective or blatant ones. As a guide for his 
registration, the player should always have the orchestra in mind! As 
varied in tone color as this body of instruments is, so should be the change 
and relief obtained by a wise and frequent variation in stops. 

Registers and tone qualities of the organ should be kept separate and 
clear, such as strings alone, flute alone, reeds (oboe, saxophone, French 
horn, cornopean, etc.), alone, whenever possible. Tone qualities should 
no more be mixed promiscuously than all ten fingers should be put on the 
keys in long stretches of injudicious chord playing. It is best to avoid 
close harmony. It is generally safe to adhere to the effect of a solo instru- 
ment with accompaniment. "Full organ" should be avoided except in 
special instances. As a rule, the organ should rather suggest its presence 
than make itself overpoweringly felt. The music must vitalize the action 
on the screen, not absorb the attention of the spectator, or deaden his 
ears. In the "movies", a mere finger-acrobat becomes a nuisance. On 
the other hand, it is dangerous to overwork soft stops and echo effects. 
A constant "murmur" of the organ is most irritating. Light and shade 
should vary according to the picture's progress. If possible, one should 
not make a crescendo to full organ more than once during a picture. An 
overuse of glaring and striking tone colors is undesirable. To be sure, 
there are certain situations where nothing but a distinctive kind of reed 
will express either the diabolical expression of a face or the gruesomeness 
of a scene. But "atmosphere" is more effective than strident noise. 

The player should try to develop his musical resourcefulness chiefly by 
cultivating his talent for improvisation. This does not necessarily mean 
that he must be gifted as a composer and originator of musical ideas, 
although this ability will prove his supreme asset. But it will suffice if he 


learns to handle a given theme, or rather several of them, by the means of 
rhythmical or modal variation, by extension or diminution, by change of 
tone register and by contrapuntal combination. 

b. Musical Characterization 

The kernel of the musical illustration of a picture is the main theme. 
This should be typical in mood or character of the hero or heroine. It 
should have emotional appeal, it should be easily recognizable and admit 
of such treatment as mentioned above. This theme should be announced 
in the introduction, it should be emphasized at the first appearance of the 
person with whom it is linked, and it should receive its ultimate glorification, 
by means of tonal volume, etc., in the finale of the film. Added to this, there 
will be as many subsidiary themes as there are secondary characters in the 
film. This does not mean that every face that appears on the screen must 
be labelled with a musical motive. This procedure applies only to the 
characters that are really concerned in the progress of the action. The 
villain will be characterized by a sinister or sombre theme, the comedian by 
a light and frivolous one, and so on. 

c. Thematic Development 

The treatment and development of these musical themes, for purposes 
of picture accompaniment, is very much in the nature of the treatment 
given to a musical idea in the course of a composition such as a sonata or 
symphony. But, while the player cannot be urged too strongly to study 
such works, the aim of this book will probably be best served by freeing 
the subject of its more intricate technicalities and by plainly stating a few 
methods through which this musical alteration or variation of a theme 
may be accomplished. 

Let us take for instance an emotional theme such as : 
Ex. A 


Sir &', Fl 8 -Saxophone Solo - light string and flute accompaniment 

If this theme were to represent the heroine in ordinary circumstances, her 
appearance under emotional stress or afflicted with sorrow might be char- 
acterized by playing the theme in the minor mode, as follows : 


Ex. B 

Poco lento 

Oboe _ 


\ng ace 


At a moment of hesitation, of doubt, or when placed in the necessity of 
making a decision, the heroine might be characterized by a "breaking" 
of the theme in the following manner : 
Ex. C 


Light reeds- one manual 

Her anxiety might be expressed by taking the theme in a rhythmically 
quicker form, and if this anxiety was caused by pleasant anticipation, the 
theme would naturally be given in major : 

Ex. D 

Flutes 8; 4' 

Harp accompaniment 

while it would be given in minor, if her anxiety was caused by apprehen- 
sion or fear, as follows: 
Ex. E 


Str.8; PI. 8; 4', Bassoon 16' (Cboe on 16' coupler) 

Attention should be called to the way in which these various examples 
are treated with respect to registration and accompaniment. They will 
offer an outlook on the great variety that may be accomplished by judicious 


manipulation. Only a few basic emotions have here been illustrated. A 
wider range of psychological insight will suggest to the player a greater 
number of possibilities in such manipulation. The player should always 
seek to differentiate in each return of the theme, during the film, so that 
new interest will enhance its appeal. An effective means of variation 
is offered by placing the melody in a lower register and ornating it in the 
treble with appropriate figure work, as given here : 

Ex. F 

Adagio molto espressivo 

This treatment might suggest itself if the hero were pictured in a meditation 
of which the heroine is the subject, or if he were reading a letter received 
from her, in other words, if the heroine did not actually enter into the picture 
but if the thought of her was implied by the action of others. The " mood " 
of a theme can be totally changed by altering the rhythm. For instance, 
our theme, originally played in common time, gains in "lightness" and 
airiness if presented in three-four time. 

Ex. G 





String* and Flute ace. 

\ n 

11 EJ T 1 |>' T $1 ^ == 



Such treatment will be appropriate for a scene in which the heroine is 
pictured in particularly pleasant and happy circumstances or actually danc- 
ing. On the other hand, a theme that was originally presented in three- 
four time : 
Ex. H 


Mflodia or soft Flute - both hands 

might be given "weight" by lengthening the measure into one of four- 
four, as follows: 
Ex. I 


Full Organ 


Greater emotional intensity will be suggested by playing the original 
theme to an accompaniment of nine-eight. 
Ex. J 

Largo, ma non troppo 

Strings 16,' 8,' 4', 2' both hands on the samp manual 







f -f 


All such variations should be accompanied by change in organ regis- 
tration. While it is not easy to identify each stop or tone color with a 
special character or emotion, it may be safe to recommend, for purposes 
of general guidance, the indications given on pages 54 and 55. 

What has been said with regard to the theme characterizing the heroine, 
applies equally to any other that may be chosen for the hero. But in all 
cases, these themes should be sufficiently "striking," so that the audience 
can easily identify and remember them. In all their changes they should 
remain easily recognizable. Therefore it might be said that ordinarily a 
theme that moves diatonically, that is step-wise, will not stand out so well 
as one that has at least one or two skips. For example : 

is preferable to 

As we said before, not only persons may be characterized by musical 
themes, but also localities. If, for instance, the action is laid recurrently 
in a certain place, this locality should always be announced by the same 
theme. However, variation is essential here, as in other cases ; and if we 
may take for example a garden scene, this garden in sunlight might be 
characterized as follows : 
Un poco vivace 

Fhite 4' 

while the same place, shrouded in twilight, might suggest the following 
treatment of the theme : 


Vox humana-both handt me manna] 


As a matter of course, different weather conditions will demand different 
music. On page 57 you will find suggestions for rain, for the approach 
and breaking of a thunderstorm, etc. However, all those effects are in- 
dividually distinctive and are not the result of thematic "development." 

Hand in hand with changes of thematic variation, of organ registration, 
and of time, should go judicious changes in tonality. The player should be 
cautioned that, when selecting his themes, he see to it that they are not 
all in the same key, so that he achieve in the course of his performance a 
pleasing variety of tonalities. Nor is it advisable to adhere for too long a 
time to tonalities that are all in flats, or to those that are all in sharps. 
Sometimes a player has certain likes and dislikes for given keys. These 
he should eliminate and make himself proficient in all of the keys. It is 
particularly objectionable when the player slavishly adheres to the "black 
keys," and gives a whole evening's performance in D-flat or G-flat. There 
are certain keys such as A-flat and E-flat which suggest "warmth" or 
languor, such as B-flat minor or G minor which fit a mood of sorrow and 
grief, such as A or D major which lend themselves to brilliancy, such as E 
major which suggests "clear skies" or "the ocean's wide expanse." Said 
ocean, lashed into rollers by the fury of the wind, will naturally demand 
more agitated music than the placid surface in a calm, and possibly the 
player may find that he will also wish to differentiate in a key in which this 
raging element may find a fit illustration. Melodies of a meditative char- 
acter or of a religious nature often gain when played in the key of F. The 
key of C has nothing to commend it, except that after long wanderings 
through the rich realms of sharp or flat tonalities, it is most gratifying to 
hear the crisp and bright "key of keys." These suggestions, in regard to 
the nature and individual color of certain keys, are approximations, at 
best, and experiments have shown that different people react differently 
to the effect of various keys. But at least they will make the player 
curious to investigate for himself and serve to make him realize that there 
exists a distinction between one tonality and another. He will quickly see 
that "transposition" from one key to another will lend to his theme a varied 
aspect and that it forms one of the easiest ways of obtaining contrast. 

d. Transition and Modulation 

This leads to one of the most important points to which the player 
should give special attention and continued study, namely to that of 
smooth musical transition or effective modulation. By the scope given to 
this subject in the textbooks on harmony, it can be easily seen how essential 
its mastery is. The player who is not already familiar with this chapter of 
musical harmony will do well to enlarge his knowledge by carefully reading 
chapter XI in J. Humphrey Anger's "Treatise on Harmony," part I. 


For the practical use of the "movie" player there are, however, certain 
"tricks" of modulation which it may be well to point out here. As a 
general rule the player should bear in mind that his transitions should never 
be abrupt, unless a special graphic end may be gained thereby. He should 
take time and care with his modulations. But what the following examples 
intend to teach, is more a principle than an application. Only continued 
practice will make the application a matter of ease and surety. 

The simplest modulations are the natural ones from one key into its 
related keys, namely those of the (1) dominant, (2) sub-dominant, (3) 
relative, and (4) parallel minor keys ; or for instance : from C major to (1) 
G (major), (2) F (major or minor), (3) A minor, and (4) C minor. There is 
hardly a composition in which one or several of these modulations are not 
used ; they may be readily found in any text-book. However, text-book 
demonstrations are generally, and for the sake of clearness, written in 
chord progressions which form the harmonic skeleton of the melodic 
progress. Such presentation as the following : 

C toCt 

may admirably show the underlying harmonies, which, properly connected, 
form the basis of a modulation from one key to its two chromatically adja- 
cent keys (from C to Cb, or from C to C#), but they will decidedly not do 
for our purposes. The player should, in fact, carefully shun anything that 
sounds like the wearisome chord progressions favored by diligent and 
patient piano tuners. The text-book style of 4-part harmony, at its best, 
too closely resembles church music ; and unless a picture actually shows a 
church or religious function, the suggestion of the organ as an instrument 
associated with religious worship should be strictly avoided in the theatre. 
The many voices of the organ should always approximate the quality of 
an orchestra, and only in particular cases remind you of the choir loft! 
Nevertheless, the study of textbooks on harmony, and principally on 
modulation, is an invaluable help in understanding, and carrying on in- 
dependently, the exposition that follows. 

Even the quickest and most abrupt modulation that the turn of events, 
as pictured on the screen, may necessitate, should be made to act as a 
melodic (or thematically connecting) link as well as a harmonic bridgr. 
No matter how short a motive may be, it will always serve to emphasize 
the organic nature of a modulation. It may either echo a theme that is 
about to be discarded, or anticipate a new one that is to be introduced. 


Which method the player should follow depends somewhat on the picture, 
namely whether the action is receding from a moment of intensity (in 
which case the " intense" motive will be "reechoed") or whether it is 
progressing to such a moment (in which case the " intense" motive will 
act as a " foreboding"). These simple devices offer specimens of the 
many "psychologic" possibilities of modulation in connection with the 
proper use of motives and special themes. 

In modulating from one key ("given key") to another ("prospective 
key"), it may be found that the related keys (see above) of the prospec- 
tive key are more easily reached than the prospective key itself. In such 
cases the modulation will, of necessity, be a little more circuitous ; but 
what it loses in directness, it will gain in musical effectiveness. It makes 
the modulation more "convincing," if the prospective key is reached by 
way of its relative minor key, or by way of its sub-dominant. The most 
obvious method, and that which in all cases may be regarded as the safest 
approach, is a modulation to the dominant of the prospective key. With the 
seventh degree added to the tonic triad of the dominant key, the dominant- 
seventh chord of the prospective key is established, and from it the modu- 
lation will drop logically into the tonic triad of the prospective key. For ex- 
ample, G being the dominant of C, the chord ffe Q ,|| becomes 
and leads into ^sp* | . Therefore the player will do well to practice such 

modulations at the keyboard, aiming to reach the (1) dominant, or (2) 
subdominant, or (3) relative minor, or (4) parallel minor keys of the pro- 
spective key. But such procedure, while of excellent musical effect, is 
often lengthy and might prevent the player from following the speed of 
pictured events. Hence, for purposes of instantaneous or quick modu- 
lation, the following methods are recommended. 

I. Modulation with the / unaltered (see Ex. la-IVa and Ib-IVb) 

aid of pivotal note \ enharmonically changed (see Ex. V and VI). 

II. Modulation with the f unchanged (see Ex. Vila, b, c) 

aid of pivotal chord I chromatically altered (see Ex. Villa, b, c). 

III. Modulation with the jin the "given key" so as to suggest, or 

aid of motive altered I lead into the "prospective key" (see Ex. IX). 

IV. Modulation with the aid of diminished-seventh chords (see Ex. X). 

I. With regard to the first method, it becomes at once apparent that 
the success of its employment depends largely upon the selection of the 
proper tone as pivot. In the examples la-IVa, and Ib-IVb, the same 


modulations have been effected by the use of different pivotal notes, all of 
which serve the purpose. By analyzing the examples the player will find 
that the notes of the "given" chords which were not used as pivots would 
have probably proved less helpful to, if not actually prevented, a smooth 
and convincing progression. 

Pivotal note (*) unaltered : 
Ex. la 

NB. If a Bb is substituted for the B1, the modulation " tends" towards G minor, 
and from there Eb major, Ab major or minor, etc. may be reached. 

Ex. Ha 


NB. With a C# instead of the C4, the modulation will " tend " towards A major, 
and from there to F# minor, etc. 

Ex. Ilia 

. j . . , * . N J B ,.ra 



- p- 




M ffi . "~~~ "" 

' -4^ ^- 

NB. With good effect, a D# could replace the Dt|, and the modulation would then 
lead to B major, or from there to G# minor and major, or F# major, etc. 

Ex. IVa 

NB. With a G^ and C$ in the chord, instead of the Gtr and Ctf, the modulation 
leads to E minor, and from there to C major, or any other related and accessible key. 



Pivotal note (*) enharmonically changed , 
Ex. V 

Compare this modulation with Ex. Ill ! 
Ex. VI 

In this example two notes form the pivotal link, one of which is enharmonically 
changed, the other remains unaltered. 


II. The success of the second method is dependent on a quick discern- 
ment as to which of the notes in the " given" chord will point by either 
suspension l or anticipation 2 to the " prospective" chord. The devices of 
suspension and anticipation are most valuable aids in modulation, and, if 
tastefully employed, will greatly enhance the music. And yet it may not 
be out of place to say here a word against the abuse of "chromatically" 
creeping modulations, which soon become cloying and lose the inherent 
charm which they possess when used with moderation. 

Pivotal chord, unchanged: 
Ex. VII 




maj. ormi 


Pivotal chord, chromatically altered: 


a) b) 


,IJg J J- J,,I,1-J 1 J j- h-,J 

^j J 1 i 

SF i : 

^'F F: * 

to Bk 

maj. or min. 

> P 



to E^ 


to A' 

1 A suspension is the name given to a discord formed by the holding over, or prolongation, 
of a note from one chord to which it belongs into another to which it does not belong ; this 
dissonant note is then resolved by rising or falling (usually the latter) one degree to the note 
to which it would have proceeded directly had it not been held over. It is possible to hold 
over more than one note from one chord to another, viz. two or three, etc., when the suspen- 
sion is called double or triple, etc. 

ulnglr upp. double UM>. 

1 An anticipation is the name given to a dissonant note introduced into one chord and 
held over, as a consonant note, in the succeeding chord. Sometimes double and triple antici- 
pations are employed. 

normal *lngl? anticip. double antlclp. triple antlelp 



III. For practical purposes, the third of these methods is undoubtedly 
one of the simplest and quickest. It is advisable to lead into the "transi- 
tory recitative" (first measures of Ex. IX) without "straining" or altering 
the tonality, so that the "given" key is established before the transition 
begins. But in cases of emergency, for which this method is invaluable, the 
"transitory recitative" may be taken up almost at any point, so long as 
the outline of the motive, no matter how much it may be chromatically or 
diatonically altered, remains sufficiently recognizable. The "transitory 
recitative" is virtually the melody in a chain of modulating chords, in 
which these chords have been omitted. If they are replaced, as in IXf 
(which achieves the same modulation as IXe, where they are omitted) 
it cannot be truthfully said that this replacement, heavy and "text- 
bookish" as it sounds, adds anything to the modulation, in beauty or 
effectiveness. On the contrary, it sounds involved and sluggish. 

Modulatory recitative : 




to At 
maj. or min. 


IV. Any diminished-seventh chord, such as that given in Ex. X, in 
all of its inversions, is a means of instantaneous modulation. In Ex. X 
the same diminished-seventh chord, in its various inversions, is made to 
serve as a modulatory link to the dominant-seventh chord of all the twelve 
tonalities (major and minor) which are comprised in our present musical 
system. That the dominant-seventh chord, in all twelve cases, is intro- 
duced by the suspension of one of the notes in the chord, is not a matter of 
accident ; it cannot be stated too often that by the aid of suspensions 
smoothness will be added to almost every modulation. 


Modulation with a diminished-seventh chord: 
Ex. X 



aj (ormin. 












m a j .(or mi n 




.t/> D 
maj! ror min 


The introduction of the diminished-seventh chord itself is a matter de- 
manding but little skill. For any one, though only just beginning to be 
familiar with the art of improvisation, will quickly see how easily a 
iix-lodic phrase may be deflected into a chord of this nature. Ex. XI 
will demonstrate this with the aid of our original theme. 


As a matter of fact, both Ex. XIa and Xlb lead each into a different 
diminished-seventh chord, the one reached at the conclusion of Xlb being 
identical with the one from which Ex. X proceeds. The player will 
notice that a very pleasing effect may be obtained by joining Ex. XIa 
and b, and he will pay particular attention to the fact that from the close 
of Ex. Xlb he may immediately go into the second measure of any one of 
the twelve examples in Ex. X. This, and similar experiments, should 
be repeatedly and diligently tried, for they are invaluable in giving 
the player that musical resourcefulness of which the ability quickly 
and effectively to modulate forms such an important part. It cannot 
be too highly recommended to all students, seriously desiring to perfect 
themselves in this field, that they combine with the absorption of the 
hints, given above, a careful study of modulatory devices as presented 
in text-books and, most of all, in the works of the masters. The piano 
compositions of Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, and Cesar Franck will prove 
an inexhaustible source of instruction and inspiration. Only by going 
to works of art for the necessary model, may the player eventually hope 
to shape his task into another expression of musical art, and so gain 
the true purpose of his mission. In the selection of modulatory devices, 
as in everything else, the player should carefully refrain from adhering 
too closely or exclusively to one and the same form. Mannerisms and 
bad habits are easily acquired. Variety is the principal aim that should 
be sought. 

e. Transposition 

Another valuable source of help to the player is his ability to transpose 
any piece of music, theme or motive, into any key. Such faculty pre- 
supposes a certain familiarity with harmony and with the principal types 
of chords. To read at sight a composition in a key, different from that in 
which it appears on the printed page, demands training and mental 
alertness. If the player should try to transpose each note into the higher 
or lower interval desired, as the piece progresses, he would find it slow work 
and impossible to give an adequate performance of the piece. In order to 
overcome this obstacle the player should learn to read melodies by giving 
them a universal scale-appellation, not according to the actual pitch of 
each note but to the degree which it represents in the scale of that particular 
piece. In other words, he should give each of the seven degrees of the 
scale its general scale-appellation, 

do re mi fa sol la ti 

so that the third degree of the scale, no matter in what key, will always be 
mi, or the sixth degree always la. Thus, if he has learned to read the 


"Star-Spangled Banner" according to this method, he will read the be- 
ginning as 

jrsu J J i J F2\ J j j i j 

sol mi do ml sol Jo mi re do mi fat sot 

and be able to transpose the melody, with its proper harmonies, into any 
other key by simply adjusting the tonic do to the key desired. The melody 
of our theme would read accordingly, in the original Key of C, 

m I F ( m \ &nd transposed 
J f II [JtfJ I tothekeyof^ 

ml /i /at sol do mi re do fat mi fa fat sot do mi re do fat 

The symbol of ft before the 3d and 9th notes of the melody simply 
signifies that the notes are raised a semi-tone ; as is seen in the transposi- 
tion, the raise is actually effected by a 4, since the degree of fa in the 
scale of Ab has a "flat." This leads to the remark that in transposition 
from a key with sharps into a key with flats, the ft becomes a $, the x 
becomes a ft, the \ becomes a b, the b becomes abb; and on the other 
hand, in transposing from a key with flats into a key with sharps, the b 
becomes a \n, the bb becomes a b, the $ becomes a ft, and the ft becomes a x. 
One of the simpler transpositions is that in which the notes on the staff 
remain the same, only the key signature is altered, as for instance from G 
to Gb, in which case the signature of one sharp turns into one of six flats. 
In transposing from the key of Ab to that of A natural, the signature 
changes from four flats to three sharps, and all accidentals are altered in 
the way indicated above. 

In order to verify and assimilate these rules, it will prove most helpful 
to carry out a few transpositions on paper, first a semitone up and down, 
with the notes remaining the same on the staff and only a change in acci- 
dentals taking place, later choosing larger intervals of transposition, at 
which to raise or lower the key, in which instances the notes on the staff 
also will change. However, all intervals of the original remain relatively 
the same in the transposed key, and by reading intervals instead of notes, 
that is, by adopting the substitution of general scale degrees- (do re mi 
etc.) for the actual notes played, this transposition may be effected with 
ease and a measure of surety that depends only on the greater or lesser 
experience of the player. 

f. Improvisation 

The talent for musical improvisation is closely linked with that of musical 
composition. As a rule, great composers, and among them particularly 
those who excelled as organists such as Bach, Mendelssohn, and Franck 
possessed that gift to a supreme degree. Hence, the acquisition of a 
certain facility in improvising is equivalent to a study of the principles 
involved in composition, added to keyboard proficiency. 


Since the study of composition presupposes familiarity with the rules of 
harmony, a book like " Keyboard Harmony, " by Uselma C. Smith, does not 
only impart the necessary knowledge, but presents it at once in a manner 
which makes it applicable to the practical use of the student. The first 
thing to learn is the nature of the various scales, intervals and chords; 
next, the proper joining of chords ; finally the arrangement of chords in 
musical cadences and phrases. 

To improvise at the keyboard, means to let one's natural musical 
fancy dictate to the fingers, while one's acquired critical faculty constantly 
directs and supervises the result of that dictation. It may also be called 
"listening to an inner voice," which voice need not always be essentially 
original, but will often, and certainly at first, reecho with a slightly differ- 
ent inflection outer voices that the player has heard before and now vaguely 

In order to awaken a tendency for improvisation, you should try to 
SING a short melody of not more than eight measures, or eight accented 
beats, and see that the melody you sing does not actually resemble some 
other tune that you know. In doing this you will have made the first 
step on the road to improvisation. Be sure to REMEMBER the melody 
that you have thus created, by singing it over and by listening carefully 
to it until you have firmly settled it in your mind. Then ascertain the 
rhythm of your melody, and see whether it is in common time, in f tune 
or in some other rhythm. When you have done this, you should try to 
realize the position of the melody's first note in the scale (i.e. whether the 
melody begins with mi, sol, do, or any other degree of the scale), locate 
the pitch of the melody on the piano or organ to correspond to that in 
which you have been singing it, and then PLAY your melody on the key- 
board. Let us take as an example an obvious melody, that might begin 
as follows : 

You will see that the musical phrase (I) is built on a motive (1) which corre- 
sponds to a rhythm of two eighth notes followed by a quarter note. This 
rhythmical motive is repeated, or answered, by the identical rhythm but 
with different notes, for simple reasons of symmetry (one of the funda- 
mental principles in musical composition), thus forming one half of the 
first phrase ; the next half contains as many notes as the first, but they 
are rhythmically grouped in a different order. Phrase (II) follows the 
rhythmic scheme of (I). Let us assume the melody continues in the fol- 
lowing way : 








u " u 


In the third phrase we encounter the rhythmic motive of the beginning 
reversed, i.e., one quarter note followed by two eighth notes, then answered 
by its original form, the whole constituting one half of the phrase ; the 
second half is rhythmically identical with the first half. In the fourth 
phrase, the first half is a rhythmic repetition of the melody's very begin- 
ning, and the conclusion of the phrase, being also the end of the melody, 
imitates rhythmically the conclusions of the first and second phrase, but 
comes to a stronger and more decided stop on the third beat of the meas- 
ure (instead of on the fourth). 

Thus we have analyzed the rhythmical skeleton of the melody. That 
it is composed of four groups of two measures each is not a matter of 
accident. As a rule, and the exceptions need not find consideration here, 
musical phrases are built up by linking groups of two measures into sen- 
tences of four measures, or any multiples thereof. 

Let us now consider the melodic outline of our tune. The first three 
notes, forming our rhythmic motive, are ascending step by step ; they are 
answered by a descending figure which starts one tone higher than the 
first motive ends, but descends to the same note with which the measure 
began. This first measure in turn is answered by a figure which follows 
the same melodic curve of ascent and descent, but is rhythmically varied. 
The third measure starts in imitating the first, but reaches higher in its 
second half, and is followed by a measure that brings the two phrases to a 
half-close. The fifth measure establishes a new melodic pattern by 
making a bold descent, step wise, from the first to the last note of the 
measure; this pattern is repeated in the sixth measure. The seventh 
measure imitates the melodic curve of the very beginning, as does the 
eighth measure, only that this drops to the lowest tone of the whole 
melody and then settles in the final note. 

The next step for the student is to try to hear the harmonic basis that 
underlies the melody. He may experiment at the keyboard with the 
chords that his harmonic knowledge place at his command, and he may 
achieve only the most primitive results such as shown in Ex. (1). 

Ex. (1) 

|$ *crr r/r. 


TXEfr J 

[^r^rr i 

urj!rr r 




i r rr ^j 

rf]p rr J i 


u u 

r LJ J J 

i{ E 


If his harmonic knowledge and his inner ear enable him to detect and hear 
a more varied harmonic treatment, he may play the melody as presented 
in Ex. (2) and (3). 

Ex. (2) 




r r ' r- 

i j i j 


Ex. (3) 






I cre i c I k 

J J) 7 J J) 





tr ^ 

^ > 


^oco ritard. a t^mpo rail 


e/7 a. poco cresc. 



It should be stated that the four-part harmonization of Ex. (2), while 
harmonically more interesting and aesthetically more pleasing than Ex. 
(1), is nevertheless too much after the "text-book" fashion, and therefore 
far removed from what the picture organist should strive for. The treat- 
ment of the accompaniment in Ex. (3) is more in the style of what the player 
should always hold before him as his goal, an expressive melody, un- 
encumbered by middle voices, and simply seconded by chords that form a 
proper harmonic sequence, broken up, or figurated, in an appropriate 
manner. It would lead too far to present here all the problems that the 
player will meet with in improvising. But let it be clearly understood that 
this improvisation should not be a more or less dexterous finger play. The 
fingers should always be the interpreters of a song, or inner voice, that the 
player develops and carries in his mind. Only thereby can he hope to 
impart to his melodies their chief quality, which is expressiveness. He will 
naturally hear every tune in a certain harmonic garb, and to disclose 
this, as well as the tune itself, he must exercise his harmonic sense. 
For the carrying on, and thematic development, of a melody, a very 
excellent practical guide may be found in a little work on "Extempori- 
zation" by Dr. Frank J. Sawyer. The methods of improvisation will 
thereby become easily understood, and the student will be enabled to work 
the problems out for himself with a reasonable degree of surety. As a 
further practical help, no book could be recommended more strongly than 
Edmondstoune Duncan's "Melodies and How to Harmonize Them," which 
has the inestimable advantage of possessing a key by the same author, and 
published separately, which will supply the student with an answer to all 
the exercises, should he find difficulties in solving them. 

With these remarks we bring to a close the general recommendations 
that every player for the pictures should bear in mind. Mental alertness 
and musical resourcefulness will enable any one who is gifted with sufficient 
technique to give a most adequate musical interpretation of the pictured 
scene. With a certain facility in improvisation and a sense of dramatic 
values, the player may even hope to accomplish more than that, and really 
give the spectator that most illusive of all experiences, a thrill ! 


The following list, without attempting to be exhaustive, will furnish 
the player with enough suggestions to make his repertoire a large and 
varied one. It cannot be emphasized too strongly, that constant and 
diligent search for new material is all-important. With the study of the 
classification given herewith, the player will learn to distinguish musical 
moods and will gain surety in selecting the proper material for each scene 
that he may encounter. 






Friml .... 


Carvel .... 


Friml .... 

Cherry Blossoms 


In the Woodland 

Friml .... 

Woodland Echoes 

Grieg .... 

Morning Mood 

Lind .... 



In the Moonlight 


Falling Snow 

Nevin .... 

Country Dance 

Moter .... 

In the Country 

Nevin .... 

Song of the Brook 

Orth .... 

By the Ocean 

Nolck .... 

Dancing Butterflies 

Palmgren . . . 


Saint-Saens . . 

The Swan 

Davis .... 


Seeboeck . . . 

The Hunt 

Chaffin. . . . 

In Springtime 

Shackley . . . 

Song of the Brook 

Boisdeffre . 

By the Brook 

Whelpley . . . 

Song of the Fountain 

Coerne .... 

Twittering Birds 

Whelpley . . . 

At Evening 


Summer Song 

Helm .... 

Sylvan Sketches 

Bohm .... 

Murmuring Brook 


Bernheimer . . 


Whelpley . . . 


Cadman . . . 


Sturgis .... 


Martel .... 


Hurst .... 

Melodie d'Amour 

Elgar .... 

Salut d'Amour 

Grieg .... 

I Love Thee 

Gael .... 

Voice of the Heart 

Liszt .... 

Love Dreams 

Nevin .... 

Love Song 

Mitchell . . . 

There was a Star 

Svendsen . . . 


Bohm .... 


Quinn .... 

Souvenir de Venise 

Friml .... 



Adam .... 


Nesvera . . . 


Berger .... 


Chaminade . . 


Seeboeck . . . 

Le Dauphin 

Delibes . . . 

Pizzieati, "Sylvia" 

Fomin .... 


Gillet .... 


Hellmesberger . 

Entr'acte Valse 

Grieg .... 

Anitra's Dance 

Huerter . . . 


Gabriel-Marie . 

La Cinquantaine 

Sanford . . . 


Moszkowski . . 




Bernheimer . . 


Huerter . . . 


Debussy . . . 


Huerter . . . 

Told at Twilight 

Mouton . . . 

Enchanted Hour 

Friml .... 


Nevin .... 


Wagner . . . 


Palmgren . . . 

The Swan 

St. Quentin . . 

Love's Meditation 



Raff . . 


Szalit .... 


Wolstenholm . . 

The Answer 

Wagner-Liszt . . 

To the Evening Star 


The Asra 



Whelpley . 
Hopekirk . 
Enesco .. 
Halvorsen . 


Prelude in Ab Wagner 

Sarabande Wagner 

Triumphal Entry of Meyerbeer 

the Boyars Handel . . 

King's Prayer, from 

"Parsifal" Selec- 

Torch Dance 



Nevin . . 


Oswald . . 
Adam . . 
Borch . . 
Grunn . . 
Peterkin . 


Verdi . . . 


March from "Tann- 

Berlioz . . . 



Gounod . . 

Introduction toThird 

Gounod . . 


Act, "Lohengrin" 

de Koven . 


Processional March, 

Chopin . . 


"The Prophet" 

Ketterer . . 



Serenade Grise 

Puccini . . 

The Bim-Bims 



Tango (Spanish) 





Farwell . . 


Venetian Serenade 

From Russia 

Gottschalk . 


Zuni Impressions 

Loomis . . 


Dreamer's Tales 

Ballet from "Sam- 

Luigini . . . 


son and Delilah" 


March from "Aida" 
Hungarian March 
Marche fanfare 
Marche pontificale 
Wedding March 
Polonaise militaire 
Caprice militaire 

Madama Butterfly 

DanseArabe(" Nut- 
cracker " Suite) 

Marche Slave 

American Indian 


Lyrics of the Red- 

Ballet Egyptien 

Chant Hindou 

(See also page 42) 



Clarke . . 

Michel . . 

Wachs . . 

Huerter . 

En badinant (Chat- 

A Day in Paris 


The Gobbler 


With Xylophone and 

Huerter . 

Adam . . 
Bohm . . 
Chadwick . 
Lack . . 
Dumas . 

The Juggler Come- 

Harlequin Polka 
The Frogs 
Pizzicato, Bluette 
On the Hike 
The Rabbit 

(See also page 37) 



SPEED (Hurries) 

Argus . . 

. . Butterfly Chase 

Alkan .... 

The Wind 


. . Will o' the Wisp 

Bohm .... 

Glissando Mazurka 

Wachs . . 

. . A travers 1'espace 

Gillet .... 

The Humming Top 

Musil . . 

. . Frolic 

Schubert-Heller . 


Chopin . . 

. . "Minute" Waltz 

Delibes. . . . 


Bach . . 

. . Little Fugue, Gm. 

Bossi .... 

Scherzo, Gm. 


. . Ride of the Valkyries 

Noble .... 

Morris Dance 


Densmore . 
Martel . 
Grieg . . 
Liszt . . 
Friml . . 
Gillet . 

Air de Ballet 


Five Silhouettes 

Lyric Pieces 

Songs without Words 


Spring Song 

Were I a Bird 

Chant sans Paroles 

Sweet Caress 

Godard . 

Heller . . 
Schubert . 
Wilm . . 
Tarenghi . 
Karganoff . 

Berceuse from 

" Jocelyn" 
Mazurkas (1-4) 
II penseroso 

Moments musicaux 
Short Pieces, Op. 12 
Menuetto alPantico 

Baynes . 


Destiny Duval . 

On the Wings of Martel . 

Dream Delibes . 




N. B. Most of these overtures contain brilliant and lively passages which will 
fit scenes in the wild West, hurries, chases, fights, and mob scenes, etc. ; many of 
them also contain slow movements which will prove useful as love themes, etc. 

Rossini . 
Rossini . 

Nicolai . 

Suppe . 
Suppe . 
Suppe . 

William Tell 

The Italians in Al- 
geria (especially 
for detective sto- 

Merry Wives of 
Windsor (espe- 
cially for fairy 
stories, etc.) 

Light Cavalry 

Jolly Robbers 

Poet and Peasant 

Caliph of Bagdad 


Herold . . 
Kela-Bela . 

Strauss . 

Hollins . . 

Weber . . 
Weber . . 
Weber . . 
Mozart . . 
Mozart . . 


Hungarian Comedy 
The Bat 
Midsummer Night's 

Concert Overture, in 

C minor 
Magic Flute 
Figaro's Wedding 



a. Impending: 

6. Aftermath: 

Tschaikowsky 1st movement from Symphonic Path6tique 

Beethoven . 1st movement from Sonata Pathetique 

Rachmaninof Prelude, C# minor 

Beethoven . 2d movement from Sonata Pathetique 

Massenet . . Elegie 

Tschaikowsky 3d movement from Symphonie Pathe"tique 

Chopin . . .Funeral March 

Beethoven . Funeral March 

Mendelssohn . Funeral March 

(N. B. In the presence of actual death, observe silence!) 

Battle Scenes 
Storm Scenes 

Tschaikowsky Overture "1812" 

Tschaikowsky Last movement from Symphony No. 6 

Rossini . . . William Tell 

Rachmaninof Middle section from Prelude, C# minor 

Beethoven . 1st movement from "Moonlight Sonata" 

Villanous Characters 

a. Robbers (In Drama) Bizet . . 

Robbers (In Comedy) Grieg . . 

6. Sinister villain Gounod . . 

c. Rou6 or vampire Puccini . . 

d. Revengeful villain Leoncavallo 

Smugglers' Chorus from "Carmen" 
In the Hall of the Mountain King 
Music of Mephistopheles in "Faust" 
Music of Scarpia in "Tosca" 
Introduction and finale from "Pa- 

Youthful Characters 

Old Age 

Mendelssohn. Spring Song 

Grieg . . . Spring Song 

Grieg . . . Butterflies 

Nevin . . . Mighty Lak a Rose 

Orth . . . What the Old Oak Said 

Danks . . . Silver Threads Among the Gold 

Hopekirk . . Sundown 



PERHAPS the best way of indicating a safe procedure in the musical 
interpretation of a feature film, is to single out one photo-play, and to 
suggest a musical garb that will fittingly clothe it with strains such as 
will bring out in bolder relief the plastic curves of the story. All of the 
motion picture concerns issue for each of the pictures which they release a 
synopsis that enumerates the various characters of the cast and gives an 
outline of the story. This synopsis should be carefully studied and should 
enable the player to select music descriptive of the various situations and 
emotions portrayed. 

Let us take as an illustration "The Rose of the World" with Elsie 
Ferguson. 1 The opening scenes are laid in India, at a British Army Station. 
This will immediately suggest the necessity of preparing certain strains 
of music characteristic of the Orient; also of martial music in scenes 
depicting the soldier life. The story is as follows. Captain S. is married 
to a 16-year old girl named Rose, who is very beautiful, but as yet has not 
awakened to a realization of life and love. (1. Main love theme, intensely 
emotional.} The Captain is about to depart with his troops on a military 
expedition against rebellious natives. The film shows his leave-taking 
from the young wife ; he tells her that if he returns alive he will teach her 
what love really means. The troops are seen departing in the distance, 
with the Captain in command, to the sound of Scottish bagpipes. (2. 
Hindu motive interwoven with military march and imitation of bagpipes.} 
The troops disappear, and Rose suddenly realizes her loss; she wildly 
longs for her husband. (3. Main love theme repeated, with softer regis- 
tration and rhythmically more agitated accompaniment.} In the next 
scene, the return of the troops is shown. (4. Same musical treatment as 
No. 2, going from faint to loud, and leading directly into 5. Introduction 
of Overture to the opera t( William Tell."} Rose looks in vain for her 
husband ; the officers tactfully inform her that she is left a widow and hand 

1 By kind permission of The Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. 


her a box of letters, the only thing that they are bringing back to remind 
her of her husband. (6. Main love theme in the minor mode, suggestive of 
grief and despair.) The next picture picks up events several years later, 
when Rose, believing herself a widow, has married the Viceroy of India, 
and a grand ball is held to celebrate the occasion. (7. Brilliant waltz 
music.) Lieut. R., a comrade of the late Captain S., appears and asks for 
permission to write the biography of his dead friend. (8. " Somewhere a 
voice is calling.") His request is granted. Rose's niece, a young school 
girl of "sentimental" age, falls in love with Lieut. R., and consequently is 
jealous of Rose, whose collaboration in the biography of her husband 
brings her much in contact with Lieut. R. The mischievous niece places 
a picture of the late Captain S. on the piano and begins to play and sing. 
(9. Imitate school girl trying to play Grieg 's "I love you.") The niece's 
kitten helps in the performance by prowling leisurely over the keyboard. 
(10. Imitate kitten skipping up and down the keys.) Rose, exasperated, 
snatches the Captain's photo from the piano and rushes from the room. 
(11. Agitated strain based on the main love motive.) The biography has 
reached its closing chapter and Lieut. R. demands to see the box containing 
the late Captain's letters in order to make the story of the last moments 
complete. Rose feels that these letters are too sacred for the eyes of the 
outside world. (12. Massenet's "Elegie," leading into an agitated strain). 
Her husband, the Viceroy, without regard for the delicate feelings of Rose, 
demands that she surrender the letters in order to help Lieut. R. in his 
task. Rose realizes how repulsive her present husband is to her and how 
much she still loves her lost hero. (13. Suggest the inner struggle of Rose 
by treating main love motive in minor mode and breaking it up in short phrases 
which successively rise in pitch, and finally lead into a calmer transition.) 
The Viceroy has left Rose's boudoir ; she gets out the box of letters and 
tries to read some of them; her emotion overcomes her and she faints. 
(14. Nevin's "The Rosary" ; endeavor to make the climax of the song syn- 
chronize with the moment at which Rose faints.) Her health gradually fails 
and they decide to send her to England to recuperate. (15. Suggestion 
of the Hindu theme leading into "Home, Sweet Home. ") Then follow scenes 
on the ocean liner and of the sea- voyage. (16. "Sailor, beware.") Rose 
returns to England, to the home of her first husband. (17. "I hear you 
calling me.") There she feels nearer to him in spirit, and spends much 
time in reading over his letters. (18. Main love theme, with vibrato effects 
in the treble, and echo registration on the organ.) She reads of the siege, 
the battle scenes, and his approaching death by thirst and starvation. 
(19. Suggestion of Hindu music, agitated strains depicting the battle, leading 
into a tremendous climax.) Suddenly the Viceroy and his Hindu secretary 
appear in the room. Her husband chides her, and becomes more loath- 
some in her eyes, the quarrel ending in a violent scene at the dinner table. 


(20. Snatches of the waltz, played for her wedding ball, suggested in a distorted 
and agitated manner, leading to a brutal outburst which accompanies the final 
confession of Rose, at the dinner table, that she loathes the Viceroy and belongs 
only to her first love.) Rose rushes from the table and seeks to seclude 
herself in her own rooms. (21. Suggest "Somewhere a voice is calling.") 
In the night a terrible storm comes up. (22. Storm music from Overture 
to "William Tell") Rose, in a frenzy, begs her Hindu maid to try an 
incantation that will bring back the spirit of Capt. S. (23. Over a low 
rumbling in the bass, suggestive of the continued storm, the weird chant of the 
Hindu woman rises in the treble; this leads in a big crescendo to the climax.) 
At the height of the storm and incantation, Capt. S. bursts into the room ; 
he had escaped from the native prison, where he had been held a captive 
for three years, had managed to disguise himself as a Hindu and to find 
employment as the Viceroy's secretary. He had been watching to see if 
his wife still loved him. (24. Main love theme.) At the sight of the man 
whom she believed dead, Rose loses consciousness. Awakening the next 
morning, she finds her lover at her side.; they are reunited, to live happily 
ever after. (25. Apotheosis of main love theme.) 

Even this short exposition, briefly outlining the story, will show the 
variety of music required, and the manifold treatment which it needs, to 
depict graphically the emotions that animate each scene. Perhaps one of 
the most difficult things for the beginner to learn, is the joining together of 
musical motives and strains, as enumerated in the above example. It is 
here that musical taste and the ability to improvise will prove most 
valuable. Most of the emotions that come into play in the story just told 
are covered by the thematic variations demonstrated in an earlier chapter 
with the aid of our theme A. Thus, for instance, the music for number 6 
would be treated similarly to our Ex. B. The music for No. 11 might be 
treated after the fashion of Ex. C. No. 13 might be dealt with according 
to Ex. E. For No. 18, Ex. F might serve as a model, by either using 
broken chords in the treble (as is the case in the example) or supplying the 
harmony by a vibrato in the treble. Ex. I might suggest the proper treat- 
ment for the return of the love theme at No. 24. For the apotheosis, or 
finale, at No. 25, Ex. A should be played with full organ, with rich and 
effective registration. 

What has been said, under the general recommendations, regarding the 
necessity of varying constantly the time and key of the accompanying 
music, in order to avoid monotony, should naturally be borne in mind 
throughout the musical illustration of the feature film. The transition 
from one strain to another should be made with the aid of effective 
modulation, according to the principles laid down in an earlier para- 
graph. Variety of registration must add color to the music. The player 


should follow the story closely, and keep his eyes on the film as much as 

Experience will teach the player that for a great many occasions he will 
require what, for want of a better term, might be called "neutral" music. 
Thereby is meant music of no particular character, which forms a suitable 
accompaniment for scenes that do not call for special musical illustration. 
The type of music that will best serve this purpose is pleasant salon music, 
or some of the shorter preludes by Chopin, or some of the little piano pieces 
by Grieg. "Neutral" music should never last too long, as it is only a 
makeshift and a stop-gap. 


A peculiar feature of many films is the introduction of flash-backs. 
Thereby is meant the momentary interruption of the pictured story to give 
in a pictorial "flash" the thought of one of the actors, or to illustrate his 
words, or again to remind the audience of a secondary action which is 
supposed to go on at the same time in a different place. 

Thus, for instance, a man, driven to despair, may be contemplating sui- 
cide. His emotional tension is illustrated in the music by gloomy or 
tragic accents. The man is about to shoot himself, when in his mind he 
suddenly sees the home of his childhood with his young orphan sister 
left to the mercies of this world, if he should destroy himself. The screen 
shows the old homestead, the sister in her sunbonnet picking flowers in 
the quaint and pretty garden. Nothing could be farther removed from 
the horror of the actual situation, than this picture of calm, of innocence 
and happiness. It fades as abruptly as it sprang up. But the thought 
of the consequences of his action have suddenly brought the man to 
realize the cowardice of his plan; he is determined to "stick it out" like 
a man. Now, it would be a mistake to interrupt the musical tension of the 
scene by introducing a few bars of "Garden music" while the girl is shown 
with her flowers; it would cut short the dramatic progress and foil the 
building up of a climax which comes when the man resolves to live, and 
throws away his gun. Therefore the music should not change its character 
during the flash-back, but it should be very much subdued and be instantly 
softened to a mere whisper while the flash-back is shown, to burst out 
immediately into normal loudness when the flash-back vanishes. 

Another situation in which a flash-back may be employed is the follow- 
ing. An actor may read, or relate to some one else, the account of some- 
thing that has happened to himself or another person. To make this plain 
to the audience, the incident itself is often shown in the form of a flash- 
back. An escaped prisoner of war, standing before his own superiors, 


may tell how he killed the enemy guard in order to make his escape, and the 
actual killing of the guard may be recalled to the audience by showing a 
short phase of the struggle during the telling of the story. The music which 
accompanies the actual scene need not be changed for the moment during 
which the flash-back lasts ; but in order to emphasize the dramatic tension 
of the incident, the speed and dynamic intensity of the music played should 
be heightened during the flash-back. In other words, a piece of moderate 
tempo and moderate loudness played for the scene in which the man appears 
before the officers, should be played with greater loudness and greater speed 
while the flash-back lasts, to return instantly to "normal," when the flash- 
back vanishes. 

An instance where perhaps an actual change of music might accompany 
a flash-back, would be the following. The villain is about to batter in the 
door of the room in which the heroine is hiding. His brutal efforts and the 
girl's frenzy are musically depicted by strains of highest emotional and 
dramatic tension. Meanwhile the hero is furiously riding from a distance, 
on horseback or by automobile, in order to effect the rescue. During the 
progress of the main scene, flash-backs are shown of the hero's wild ride. 
In such an instance it may be admissible to accompany these flash-backs by 
fast runs on the key-board, with a soft organ registration, increasing in 
loudness each time that the rider is shown approaching nearer to his goal. 
When the hero bursts upon the scene, overwhelms the villain and rescues 
the girl, the climax is reached with a flourish of notes leading into an exalted 
rendition of the main love theme. 

As will be seen by the above, the handling of flash-backs requires a 
technique of its own ; practice will develop it quickly if the underlying 
principles are correctly understood. These principles are : in most cases 
not to disrupt the continuity of the music while the flash-back lasts, but to 
change the intensity by playing the music, characteristic of the main action, 
in a dynamic degree of loudness or softness which befits the secondary 
action. In a few cases the speed of the music may be changed to advantage, 
and in rare instances only the flash-back will demand a musical treatment 
radically differing from that which accompanies the main action. It 
may be added here that indiscriminately used flash-backs are becoming 
more and more rare in well-produced pictures, but they are still plentiful 
in the cheaper films. Flash-backs occur mostly in feature-films, the treat- 
ment of which has been described in the preceding chapter. 


Many a player, who is otherwise admirably fitted to give a musical 
interpretation of moving pictures, falls down on the animated cartoons 
and burlesque films. This is due to an absence of the all-important 


sense of humor, or "comedy touch", which is needed in every-day life 
as much as in this particular branch of the movie entertainment. Sense 
of humor is a gift of the gods, but they will not withhold it from any one 
who seriously tries to acquire it. The player should learn to recognize, 
and be able personally to enjoy, the fun of the comic situations depicted 
on the screen. Nothing is more calamitous than to see "Mutt and Jeff" 
disport themselves in their inimitable antics and to have a "Brother 
Gloom" at the organ who gives vent to his perennial grouch in sadly senti- 
mental or funereal strains. A cheerful aspect of things, the faculty to 
laugh with and at the world, are indispensable. In no part of the pictures 
should the attention of the player be riveted more firmly on the screen 
than here. If the "point" of the joke be missed, if the player lag behind 
with his effect, all will be lost, and the audience cheated out of its rightful 
share of joy. Nor does it suffice, as seems to be the idea of certain picture- 
players, to be armed with one lively tune that must serve all cartoons, 
comedies and jokes, invariably and indiscriminately. In the cartoons and 
in the comedies all sorts of other emotions, besides that of plain hilarity, 
may come into play ; there may be sorrow, doubt, horror and even death ; 
only all these emotions lack the quality of truth, and they must be ex- 
pressed as "mock" sorrow and grief, "mock" doubt and death. This is 
very different from reality and should therefore be treated differently in 
the music. Take as a glaring example the funeral march of Chopin, with 
its sublime note of tragedy and bereavement, and the exquisite "Funeral 
March for a Marionette" by Gounod, with its suggestion of fine per- 
siflage. This method, applied to the most serious situation, can naturally 
be adapted to any other emotion that the player may encounter in a legiti- 
mate picture drama and that he will have to "caricature" for the picture 

Nowhere does success, the "getting across" of a picture, depend so much 
on special effects as it does here. It may be stated candidly that these 
effects, and the best among them, are not always purely musical. As will 
be pointed out in the chapter on "Special Effects," a battery of traps and 
other accessories are really needed to emphasize in a comic manner the 
action on the screen. It is often noise, more than music, that is wanted, 
to arouse the hilarity of the audience; and the noise again may be of 
various kinds. It should always be broadly imitative when accompanying 
a fall, a hit, a slide, a whirl or flight through the air, a brawl, the whistle 
of an engine, the chirping of a bird, the mewing of a cat, or the barking >f 
a dog. In the last analysis it takes very little to make a crowd laugh ; only 
the fuse to its magazine of laughter must be ignited with a live spark. 
Experience, here as in everything else, will prove the best teacher, and the 
player will soon find out what effects work best and produce the surest 


This part of the show is admirably adapted to the introduction of all 
sorts of popular songs and dances. The player should keep in touch with 
the publications of popular music houses, since it will repay him to estab- 
lish a reputation which will make the public say: " Let's go to the Star 
Theatre you always hear the latest tune there." This will prove a never- 
failing drawing card for the younger generation of movie-fans, and it will 
react most decidedly to the advantage of the organist in his relation to the 
box-office and his own earning power. 

It is well also to keep in touch with the monthly announcements of the 
latest phonograph records issued. As a rule, these numbers have proved 
assured successes, and people like to hear their favorite tunes, either 
those they already have at home, or new ones which they might want to add 
to their collection. The player's repertoire should always be kept alive 
by the infusion of new and up-to-date material. 

One important factor in these pictorial farces is the matter of speed. 
"Pep" is the key-note to the situation, with the current "jazz" tunes as 
a medium. When special effects are to be introduced, or certain moods and 
emotions are to be "italicized" and burlesqued, this may be done at any 
point of the composition played, the piece instantly to be resumed. Above 
all, keep things "going," like a juggler who may be handling two or twenty 
balls, and occasionally drops one, but must never cease in throwing and 
catching something. 1 


Much that has been said in the previous chapter also applies to this 
type of film. However, all effects, in general, will have to be toned down 
and the methods employed will approach more nearly those of the "feature 
film." Sense of humor should again be the chief asset of the player. But 
it should be rather a sense of wit than a fondness for horse-play. Fine 
musical taste, a light touch, apt musical illustrations, will greatly add to 
the charm of the picture. 

The player will here, as in the feature film, characterize the chief 
actors by suitable motives ; there will be a main theme and the obligatory 

J Such pieces as "The Bim-Bims" by Adam, "Lydia" by Fomin, "Donkey Trot" by 
Leducq, "La Gloria" by Densmore, "With Xylophone and Bells" and "The Juggler Come- 
dian" by Huerter, "On the Hike" by Dumas, "Polka Humoristique " by Lacomb, and 
"Chatterbox" by d'Ambrosio will prove useful material. The player should have at his 
command the choruses of such well-known topical songs as "I cannot make my eyes behave," 
"Every little movement has a meaning all its own," "Where did you get that hat?" "Always 
go while the going is good," "Waiting at the Church," "What's the matter with Father?" 
" My mind's made up to marry Carolina," etc., etc. The association of such tunes with their 
particular text phrase will always insure a quick response in the audience, if the tunes aie 
applied to the proper situation. 


Dumber of supplementary selections. As there is usually a love story 
interwoven, there will be need of some sentimental strain besides pieces 
of a lighter nature. For flights, escapes and chases, the player should 
hold in readiness various kinds of musical "hurries." l A notable feature 
of the comedy drama is the "comic mystery," which should be as distinct 
from the heavy mystery of the tragic drama as is the funeral march of 
Gounod from that by Chopin, alluded to in the preceding chapter. To 
obtain a good "mock mystery," the "comedy touch" and dramatic 
instinct must work hand in hand. 

The player, alas, will soon discover that there are many so-called 
comedy dramas shown which are hopelessly dull and barren of action or 
interest. In such cases, the only thing for the player to do, is to give a 
quasi-organ-recital of light and graceful music (no fugues or sonatas!), 
and to atone by the merit of his playing for the faults of the film. 

In a city where musical shows are produced at the legitimate theatres, 
the player will do well to use selections from such productions, just playing, 
in the accompaniment to the lighter picture dramas. 


The topical character of these pictures calls, as a rule, for topical music. 
The audience that fills a moving picture house likes to hear the popular 
success of the hour, be it a song or instrumental number, well played 
and effectively rendered. It goes without saying, that due regard must 
always be exercised in instances where the music and picture might clash. 
It will never do to launch forth on a popular dance tune which might fit 
one scene, showing some public happenings with which this music might 
agree, and to persist in playing the tune while the picture shifts to the 
scene of a funeral or disaster. But, as a general rule, the news section of the 
picture is the one that will give the best opportunity to play the lighter 
type of popular numbers. 

Unless the picture is of such character that it would call for a specially 
appropriate musical illustration, the tune need not be changed for every 
scene that is shown. But there are certain events, of which we shall speak 
in the following paragraphs, that should receive special musical treatment. 

Military or civic processions will require martial music. Pictures of 
weddings might be emphasized by a strain from Mendelssohn's or de 
Koven's wedding music. A funeral procession should be accompanied by 
the playing of Chopin's or Beethoven's funeral march. This will also be 
appropriate for the showing of graves or a cemetery. 

1 Grieg's " In the Hall of the Mountain King" is particularly useful as a comedy agitato. 


Church functions will suggest the playing of a chorale or some well- 
known sacred music. Patriotic gatherings or the showing of statesmen 
and royal personages should be accompanied by patriotic music or by the 
national anthem of the particular country whose statesman or ruler is 
shown. It is against the law to play garbled versions of "The Star 
Spangled Banner" or paraphrase on it. If played at all, our national 
anthem should be given in its entirety, with spirited movement and yet 
in a dignified manner. However, the anthem should not be dragged in 
without rhyme or reason, perhaps simply because the flag is displayed in 
some picture. Since the audience will rise whenever the anthem is played, 
it should be introduced, if at all, not more than once at each performance, 
and only when the scene demands it. 

The player should familiarize himself with the most important and 
common bugle signals of the Army. There are many occasions where 
these bugle signals will add a dramatic touch. If the picture shows a 
military funeral or the graves of soldiers, the signal of "taps" should be 
played in a suitable register, first unaccompanied, to imitate the bugle, 
and then, if the picture offers an opportunity, the player may improvise 
on the bugle call as a motive. 

Frequently pictures of aeroplanes and other air-craft are thrown on the 
screen. These should be accompanied by light, "soaring" music (such as 
"Through Space" by Paul Wachs or "Butterfly Chase" by Hugo Argus). 
If an aeroplane makes a rapid and spectacular descent, the player might 
lightly glide his thumb down the keys. 

Horse races or automobile races call for rapid music. If the player's 
technique is not sufficiently developed to execute a generally difficult 
composition that demands a great deal of speed, he may obtain satisfactory 
results by a rapid tremolo in the treble, punctuated by crisp chord progres- 
sions, of moderate speed, played in a lower register. In any event, the 
player must approximate the speed of the picture, and communicate to 
the audience the excitement and tension that the original witnesses of the 
scene must have felt. Football games may call for college songs. Other 
sportive happenings, such as baseball or tennis, seldom require special 
music. It is different with boat races or sailing regattas. They should 
not only be accompanied by music suggestive of the speed, but also of the 
graceful movement of the sailing boats, or of the swell of the sea. Waltzes 
are very appropriate for yachting scenes. 

Fire scenes demand music of dramatic excitement, interspersed with 
glissandi (slides) on the keys, from bass to treble, to illustrate the leaping 
flames. If the fire increases or decreases in violence, the player should 
suggest this in his music. Should the flames become extinguished, and 


the scene show the rack and ruin of the place, the music should calm down 
and express the mournful desolation of the picture. 

For launching of boats, it is advisable to add to the tension of the 
picture by accompanying the sliding of the boat along the ways with an 
appropriate tremolo in the treble, immediately breaking into a joyous 
tune of a "horn-pipe" character, when the boat takes the water. The 
player will find it useful to familiarize himself with a number of chanties or 
sailor songs, as they will fit in not only with "news" pictures, but in a 
great many feature films. 

In the showing of industrial plants where hammering and the clangor 
of machines dominate, such pieces as the "Anvil Chorus" will often add 
to the enjoyment of the audience. Pictures of agricultural scenes might 
fittingly be accompanied by some of the "rural" songs and dances that 
the audience is familiar with. Scenes in the South, cotton fields, steamers 
on the Mississippi, etc., etc., will call for the songs of Stephen Foster, 
Virginia reels, Negro spirituals, etc. 

Events in foreign lands, if these lands are in the Orient, will take on 
added significance in the minds of the audience, if they are accompanied 
by music which suggests Oriental strains (such as "Orientale" by J. R. 
Manzanares, "Orientale" by C. Cui, "Koko-San" by I. Kamoto; see also 
"From Russia" by G. Borch, "Nochecita" by I. Albeniz, "Spanish Sere- 
nade" by Strelezki, "Italian Serenade" by S. Maykapar, etc., etc.). 1 

Under the heading of "news" pictures, are often run films that portray 
the latest fashions. Such exhibitions require no special music. They call 
for agreeable and fluent salon music, or waltzes (see "Iris" by R. Friml, 
"Fleur-de-lis" by J. Martel, "In the Starlight" by C. Huerter, "Ecstasy" 
by S. Baynes, etc.). 


More than any other pictures, educational films should absorb the whole 
attention of the spectators. By their very nature and purpose, they are 
intended to impart information or instruction of a general or special order. 
The music that accompanies such views should therefore be carefully 
calculated not to distract the attention. The player should avoid loud 
or showy pieces, and instead play music that will be conducive to the 
creation of a calm and inceptive mood in the listener. 

1 The player will find a great many pieces of general usefulness and special applicability 
to national events in the series of volumes, published in the Boston Music Company Edition, 
and containing representative pieces of various national schools. So far, the series ootnprim 
the following countries: America, France, Russia, Scandinavia, Italy, Germany, Bohemia 
(Slovak countries), Spain and Finland. 


The organ registration for such pieces should be soft, nor should it be 
too changeful, but rather adhere to one and the same registration for 
some length of time. 

There may be certain views, however, which by virtue of a musical 
emphasis will tell their lesson more vividly. In the showing of growth and 
development of flowers or insects, a crescendo that follows the progress of 
the picture might not be out of place. Certain views of animal life may 
suggest to the player particular effects that will be in keeping with the 
story told on the screen. Scientific demonstrations rarely call for special 

The case is different, when the education is to be imparted by means of 
travel pictures. These require a few words of special advice. 


In dealing with travel views the player should bear in mind, first of all, 
that he must provide his memory or his stock of accessible music with a 
number of pieces that are directly intended by their composers as nature 
studies, more or less sharply defining certain moods on land and sea, or 
will do so by implication. The well-stocked library of a picture player 
should contain various categories of music, catalogued according to the 
applicability of each piece, with plenty of cross references so that at a 
moment's notice the player may lay his hand on the desired composition. 
For travel views he may find it convenient to order his music according to 

1, nature in general, and 2, special countries, with a possible addition of 
3, particular occupations or situations. 

Under the head of "Nature in General" would come 1, landscapes and 

2, water scenes. The first of these may appear in three general aspects ; 
namely, 1, sunny, 2, cloudy, and 3, stormy. Music will be found that will 
fit more intimately the views of placid gardens and orchards, harmonize 
with undulating fields, shady woods, rugged mountains, or majestic glaciers. 
In each case, a certain affinity between the music and the pictured scene 
should be sought. 

There exists a great deal of music that by its very name suggests wood- 
land scenes, or quaint gardens (see especially the works of MacDowell, 
Nevin, or Grieg). 

" Water scenes," on the other hand, may differentiate between views 
of brooks, lakes, rivers, or oceans. Here, again, any number of compositions 
with suggestive titles will give the player ample material to choose from. A 
frequent occurrence is the showing of cascades or rapids. These lend them- 
selves admirably to musical illustration by means of brilliant arpeggios 


or purling runs. The seascape, in turn, may be shown in a state of utter 
calm, of moderate motion, or lashed by a storm. Each will require a 
different musical treatment. 

While it is difficult to give a complete catalogue of music that will embrace 
all possible travel pictures, the following suggestions will at least serve 
to call the player's attention to some of the scenes he is likely to encounter. 
He will do well to reckon with these possibilities and to fix in his mind 
certain musical subjects that he will always have available, at short notice. 

Among the pictures of the U. S. A. the player will have to reckon with 
Southern scenes (negro activities, etc.), which will call for tunes that are 
typical of the South, such as the songs of Stephen Foster and others. 
The West will furnish pictures of cowboys, round-ups, mining activities, 
mountain scenes, etc., which may be made more graphic by the playing 
of music that approximates the particular situation. Coast scenes will 
generally demand music that in some way suggests the water. From the 
North you may expect views of winter sports, such as skating, skiing, or 
ice-boating. The player should know a number of typically American 
songs and tunes, representative of various States and races. 

The Orient, in general, furnishes a limited type of views. There are 
processions, temple scenes, dances, fSte days, and the like. The player 
should command over a fairly representative repertoire of exotic strains, some 
typical of Arabia and Persia, some of India, others of China and Japan. 
There are distinct differences between the music of these countries, and 
an earnest student of the subject will try to find something characteristic 
of each of them. It is here, in particular, that the player may exert a 
great educative influence on the audience. Rather gloomy and monotonous 
music will befit the desert, while brilliant and scintillating music should 
accompany the hustle and bustle of Oriental street scenes and bazaars. 
As a rule, Oriental music is distinguished rather by a peculiar inflection 
of the melody than by variety of harmonic treatment. The latter belongs 
to the Occident. Therefore it will often suffice if the player adheres for 
his accompaniment to a droning bass of either an open fifth or fourth, 
or a stereotyped rhythmical figure that is indicative of either the languor 
of the scene (opium dens, harems, etc.) or of its typical movement (Ara- 
bian caravans, Oriental dancers, Chinese junks). A few works may be 
suggested here, as offering a great deal of useful material of distinctly 
Oriental color, such as "Scheherazade" by Rimsky-Korsakov (for Persian- 
Arabian motives), the opera "Lakme" by Delibes and the ballet "Na- 
mouna" by Lalo (for East Indian and Arabian motives), "Caucasian 
Sketches" by Ippolitov-Iwanov (for motives from Asiatic Russia), the opera 
"Madame Butterfly" by Puccini (for Japanese motives), the piano suites 
"Dreamer's Tales" and "Betel, Jade and Ivory" by Peterkin (for Chinese 


and Malay themes). There are, of course, a great many other works that 
would come into consideration, such as "Scenes in Algeria" by Saint- 
Sae'ns, African Suites by Coleridge Taylor; but it would lead too far to 
give a complete enumeration, and it must be left to the zeal of the player 
to find additional material that he may require. 

It may be well to remind the player with what variety of scenes in 
views of Europe he may meet. He will do well to carry in his memory some 
of the well-known folk-songs of England, Scotland, and Ireland, folk- 
dances of Italy and Spain, folk-tunes of Russia and Scandinavia, and some 
characteristic songs of France. It will not do always to play the national 
anthems of such countries except when really national events are shown. 
For travel pictures the folk-song literature of these countries should be 
drawn upon. 1 

1 Much useful music will be found in the volumes of various national schools contained 
in the Boston Music Company Edition and mentioned in footnote on page 40. 



THE difficulties peculiar to playing on and handling of the organ as 
distinguished from the pianoforte may be classified as follows : 

a. How to sit at the organ. 

6. Pedalling (playing with the feet). 

c. Independence of movement between hands and feet, separately 
and in combination. 

d. Use of legato and staccato touch. 

e. Registration (management of stops and various mechanical appli- 
ances) . 

Fluent piano technique is the first requisite for a successful theatrical 
organist. Assuming that the candidate possesses this, coupled with expert 
sight-reading ability and a talent for improvising, he is ready for the work. 

a. How to sit at the organ 

This is perhaps the most important item of a theatrical organist's 
equipment, since he must contend with long hours and physical strain. 

Seat yourself in the middle of the bench (and stay there). Now lift 
up both feet and hold them over the pedals, with the tips of the boots over 
the black keys and the heels over the white, at the same time holding both 
hands over the manuals (keyboards for the hands) ready to play. Move 
the hands and feet in the air. If you have an uncomfortable sensation 
that you are going to fall off or tip over, the bench is too far away from the 
keys or, most likely of all, you are sitting too near its edge. Try the bench 
at different distances from the keyboard until you find the right spot where 
by sitting erectly and well back on the bench, using the end of the spine as 
the center of motion, not (barrel hoop fashion) the middle of the back, you 
can swing arms and legs freely and yet reach the various manuals with ease. 
Arrange your music at the proper distance from your eyes, and you are 


FOUR-MANUAL ORGAN CONSOLE (" Unit " orchestra type) 


ready to play. In most of the theatres, the organ bench is provided with a 
back. This is an absolute necessity in playing long hours. But do not 
forget that the bench must be properly placed, just the same; fit the 
bench to the body and riot the body to the bench. The failure to sit 
correctly brings endless physical strain, even induces serious ailments, 
particularly with women players. For the unpleasant arm fatigue en- 
countered in playing too long on the upper manuals of a three or four manual 
organ, a remedy is found in coupling through to one of the lower manuals, 
which is explained farther on. 

Right here be it said that every excess or unnecessary movement of the 
arms and legs is so much energy thrown away. There are organists and 
pianists who have acquired an unhappy "futurist" style of performance 
by throwing the hands in the air at the end of a (to them) thrilling passage, 
waving the body, shaking the head all of which is so much electricity 
gone to waste. The man who sits in absolute repose before his organ, 
perfectly balanced, muscles relaxed and easy, with no hifalutin motions, 
is the man who is going to last the longest and produce the most virile and 
forceful music. 

b. Pedalling 
Wear round-toed, medium-heeled shoes, with flexible soles, not too thin. 

The pedals are played by means of the heel and toes. (The flat of the 
foot is used only when a group of two or three " black " keys are encountered, 
viz: C#, D#; F#, G#, A#, or Bb, Ab, Gb; Eb, Db.) This means that 
a flexible ankle is of the utmost importance. The leg, contrary to general 
notions, is not used except as a means of carrying the foot to the desired 
position. The actual playing of the pedals begins at the ankle. This is a 
principle similar to that which governs piano playing, a loose wrist being 
there the first requisite, as is a loose ankle in organ pedalling. 

Place the foot in position, press down the toe and then the heel, and so 
on, alternating toe and heel ; when the toe goes down the heel is released, 
when the heel is pressed down the toes are released, using a free ankle as 
the center of action. 

Should the ankle be allowed to become stiff and rigid, the weight of the 
whole leg will be used to drive the sole of the foot against the pedal keys, 
resulting in the destruction or injury of the pedal mechanism and most 
certainly rendering absolutely impossible the performance of rapid pedal 

Do not look at the pedal board while playing. 

Having seated yourself correctly in the centre of the bench, prepared 
to stay in the centre, you are ready to learn to "feel with your toes" viz, 


play without looking at the feet. Locate the spaces between the groups of 
short keys. They correspond exactly to the open space between the groups 
of black keys on the piano Bb and C# Eb and F#. 



Thrust the foot into the space marked 2 in the drawing, the toes will 
then be over the ends of E and F ; then into the spaces marked 3, 4, etc. 

Having thus located these spaces, the adjoining " black " keys are easily 
found. This method of feeling for the whereabouts of the notes until one's 
feet by long habit go there of their own accord, is the same as that of a blind 
man first learning to play the piano. He must perforce feel for the spaces 
between the black keys and then get his bearings. 

There are various books of pedal exercise which can be used in practicing ; 
or the average musician can easily improvise his own exercises, using those 
intervals most often encountered in his own work. 

c. Independence of movement between hands and feet, separately and in 


For the theatrical organist, this is of prime importance, since the left 
hand comes into a special realm of its own in this work. Practice playing 
all tunes with the left hand, making them "sing" as they would if played 
by the right hand. Then try playing any tune you desire with the left 
hand, with expression, and in strict time, in the meantime playing a 
chromatic scale up and down another manual. After this can be done, 
make the right hand more elaborate, playing arpeggios of various kinds. 
Finally try playing an entirely different tune with the right hand, keeping 
both tunes going at once, each complete in itself. When this can be done 
(which will not be in a day or a week) add a pedal obbligato ; i.e. a bass 


melody, or play the tune on the pedals, an obbligato with the left hand and 
variations with the right hand. 

When practicing scales on the pedals, always play a scale with the left 
hand at the same time, in contrary motion to the one you are practicing 
on the pedals. This serves to break the "invisible wire" that seems to run 
down your left arm through your left leg. It also serves as a guard against 
getting out of position on the bench. 

When reaching for notes at the end of the pedal-board, do not slide 
along the bench, but instead, turn the body as little as necessary, the end 
of the spine as a pivot. 

d. Staccato and legato touch 

Theatrical work is the antithesis of church playing. A crisp, clean 
staccato (detached) touch is the first requisite. Most everything is 
played staccato, except for special effects, such as the main love theme, 
church scenes, or similar situations for which a legato (connected) touch is 

The best pattern that can be followed is the orchestra. Make use of 
every opportunity to listen to an orchestra. Watch the attacks, releases 
and styles of playing of the different instruments, solo and ensemble. 
Especially try to get the general effect of the concerted staccato and legato. 
By carefully listening to the good theatrical orchestras travelling with good 
opera and musical comedy companies, an entire course of instruction in 
itself may be had in this manner ; not only instruction in touch and style, 
but also in tonal coloring, or "registration." 

e. Registration 

(Management of the stops and various mechanical appliances, combina- 
tion of stops, etc.) 

Here, again, the theatrical organist must be an orchestra director and 
arranger in thought and spirit. Go to the orchestra for your tonal effects 
and combinations. 

Many ideas concerning registration can be gained by playing from 
"conductor's" (or piano) parts of orchestrations, and by substituting for 
the " cues " the organ stops corresponding to the instruments designated. 
The following will be a guide to such " orchestral " registration. 


As a rule, the tone-quality of a stop is indicated by its name ; i.e. Flute, 
Trumpet, Oboe, Violin, etc. 


The pitch of the stop is indicated by numerals, placed after its name ; 
i.e. Flute 8', Bourdon 16', Piccolo 2', Viol 4'. 

8' (meaning "eight-foot tone") indicates that the key struck will 
sound unison pitch, or the same as it would if struck on the piano. This 
pitch is produced by a pipe 8 ft. in length. 

A pipe of 4', proportionately formed, will sound notes one octave higher 
than one of 8'. 

So also a pipe of 16' will produce a tone one octave lower than one of 8' ; 
similarly a pipe of 2' will sound two octaves above one of 8', etc. 

Stops of 8' (or unison pitch), 4', or 2' are called "Foundation" stops, 
unless specially voiced for solo use. 

Stops of 5' 4" (5 feet 4 inches) and 2' 8" are called "Mutation" stops, 
because the pipes of these stops sound a pitch other than that of unison 
or its octaves. 

Stops having several pipes to each note are called "Compound" stops 
or are more generally known as "Mixtures." 

The following is a list of stops likely to be encountered on a journey 
from a small two-manual to a large four-manual theatrical organ. Every 
organ builder has his own ideas in the matter of stop nomenclature, but the 
name generally gives some indication as to the tone-quality. The stops 
have been classified according to their orchestral usefulness, and not 
divided into "organs," with the idea in mind that having once learned the 
meaning of the various names, the player will be able to identify the stops 
with ease, no matter where he may find them. In these days of "duplex" 
organ building, one is never sure to find certain stops on the same manuals. 

The manuals (or "organs") are usually arranged in the following 
order : 

1. Solo 

2. Swell 

3. Great 

4. Orchestral (choir) 

Small organs always lack the first manual, and sometimes also the fourth. 
The stops are either in the form of draw-knobs at the sides, or in rows of 
ivory tablets at the top, just above the upper manual, as indicated in the 
various illustrations. In the use of draw-stops, the "coupler" tablets are 
generally placed above. These " couplers " are mechanical devices whereby 
the stops in any one manual may be added to any other manual. Thus 
by turning down the tablet marked "Swell to Great" we can play on the 
Great manual and yet have any or all of the Swell stops at our command. 
When the prolonged playing on an upper manual becomes irksome, shut 


off all orchestral stops from the orchestral manual and couple the "Swell 
to Orchestral," and you have your " Swell" manual moved down several 

These couplers are only used for joining less to greater, thus : Swell to 
Orchestral, Swell to Great, Orchestral to Great never Great to Swell. 
A list of "couplers" will be found at the end of the enumeration of stops. 

8' tone 

4' tone 


Voix Celeste 

Sab'cional (Salicet) 




Viol de Gamba 




Geigen Principal 


Viol d'amour 

Stopped Diapason 

Lieblich Gedackt 


Grosse Flote (great flute) 

Doppel Flote (double flute) 

Harmonic Flute 


Waldflote (woodland flute) 

Flauto Dolce (sweet flute) 

Concert Flute 




Small Open Diapason 
Large Open Diapason 

Gemshorn (Alpine horn) 


Viol d'amour 

Flute Harmonique 
Flute d'amour 

Principal, or Octave 


Wood wind 

> Organ tone 

> Strings 

Wood wind 

Organ tone 


2' tone 

Piccolo (small flute) 
Flageolet or Flautina 
Gemshorn (Alpine horn) 
Fifteenth or Super-Octave 

Wood wind 

16' tone 

8' tone 


Oboe (orchestral) 


Oboe or Hautboy 

English Horn 

Vox Humana 

French Horn 


Tuba Mirabilis 





Correspond to the brass choir in orchestra 

Same tone as their prototypes in orchestra 

Imitation of the human voice 

Brass choir 

4' tone Clarion 

Very brilliant, flaring brass 


5' 4" Quint 

2' 8" Twelfth, or Octave-Quint 

2' Fifteenth 


Echo cornet 

each note 


These stops, combining several tones in one, 
add richness and brilliancy. They vary in 
different organs as to tonal power, i.e. forte 
or piano, and must be experimented with. 
The tone-quality, generally speaking, of 
compound stops is that of the wood-wind 
section of the orchestra. 

The following will give some idea of the sound of these stops : 

"Mixture," play 

" Sesquialtera," play 

"Quint," play 

will sound 

will sound 

will sound 

Fifteenth," sounding fifteen above the key struck. 


Of 16-foot length or tone 


Double-stopped Diapason 
16' Bourdon 
Double-open Diapason 


No duplicate in orchestra. 
Soft & sweet, cloying if used 
too much. 
Full, rich organ tone. 

The important distinction between stops on the Pedal Organ and those 
on the Manuals is that the former are uniformly one octave lower in pitch. 
Thus, as the Open Diapason of a Manual is of 8' tone, the Open Diapason 
on the Pedal Organ will be of 16' ; also, as the Double stops of the manuals 
are of 16' tone, those of the pedals are 32'. 

16' tone 

Bourdon ff 

Bourdon pp 


Open Diapason mf\ 


Smooth, full tone ; disturbing if used too much. 

Soft and generally useful. 

Excellent imitation of contrabass in orchestra. 

Open Diapason fff Ful1 ' P en or ^ an tone ' 

? Light string tone, duplexed from manuals. 




( Contra-Posaune ] 

32' length { Bombarde 

16' length 





8' length Tuba 
4' length Clarion 

I Correspond to same stops on manuals. 
f assertive quality when used in pedal. 


Brass choir ; corresponding to the giant tubas seen 
occasionally in orchestras 

Brass choir 

Brass choir 
Brass choir 

32'. tone 


Sub-bass or 

Double-stopped Diapason or 




Used in combination. 
Only for special effects. 
Typically organistic 
not orchestral. 


Swell to Swell 4' (super-octave) 
Swell to Swell 16' (sub-octave) 

Great to Great, 4' 
Great to Great, 16' 


Swell to Great 

Swell to Great 4' Solo to Solo 4' 

Swell to Great 16' Solo to Solo 16' 

Swell to Orchestral Solo to Great 

Swell to Orchestral 4' 

Swell to Orchestral 16' Swell to Pedal 

Swell to Solo Great to Pedal 

Orchestral to Pedal 

Orchestral to Orchestral Solo to Pedal 

Orchestral to Orchestral 4' 
Orchestral to Orchestral 16' 
Orchestral to Great 
Orchestral to Great 4' 
Orchestral to Great 16' 

Orchestral to Solo 


The little buttons underneath each manual are called "pistons" and 
are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. By means of a board inside the organ or, on 
the newer organs, at the organ desk, different combinations of stops may 
be "set up" and locked under each of these pistons so that by pushing 
a certain button with the thumb an entirely new set of stops may be had 
in a fraction of time and effort. It is always safest to have the organ- 
tuner show you how to work the various mechanical devices on a strange 

Swell Pedals 

Just above the pedal keys will be found two, three, or four, balanced 
pedals the size of a foot which control the volume of tone emitted from the 
various manuals. Usually the Solo is farthest to the left, the Orchestral 
and Great next, being combined in one, then that of the Swell organ, with 
the Crescendo pedal on the right. 

Learn to use the swell pedals with either foot. Watch the constant 
light and shade of the orchestra and try to imitate this, always careful 
not to exaggerate. Do not thrust the swell pedals all the way in, every 
time. By experimenting and listening to your own playing, you will soon 
find that just a little "crescendo" or "diminuendo" is quite sufficient, and 
more effective than a complete pp -=nHH32 /// " HH - * pp- A 
continuous performance on this principle will soon find the audience in a 
delightfully bewildered state of mind, bordering on nausea, caused by 
"weathering" too many "tonal waves." 

Crescendo Pedal 

This pedal is either a great blessing or a great nuisance, according to 
the use to which you put it. By means of it, the organist can, with a 


minimum of effort, merely by pressing the foot, throw on consecutively, 
as regards increase of tonal power, all the stops in the organ. The trouble 
lies in this very fact : ease of manipulation. It is so easy to keep the foot 
on this pedal, working it back and forth without thought or reason, instead 
of studying out stop combinations, usually keeping it at the full organ, 
which is the motion picture organist's greatest bugbear : playing too loud. 

The main use of the crescendo pedal in theatrical playing is for sforzando 
effects and orchestral accent. By placing the whole foot firmly on this 
pedal, controlling it by a turn of the ankle, an instant crash to fff and back 
again to the p combination already set up on the organ, may be accom- 
plished without harm to the instrument. Stabbing at the end of the pedal 
with a thrust of the boot will jar the mechanism out of order. 

This pedal is of course useful in building up long crescendo effects, but 
these sustained effects are not so much encountered in theatrical work, the 
effect here being accomplished more by individual tone color than volume 
of sound. 



The term "tone-color" is a compound, linking conceptions that belong 
to two different arts, which are music and painting. It is the simplest way 
of describing certain qualities that tone possesses, qualities which enable it 
to assume different hues and shadings, as it were. The painter has at 
his disposal many colors, from which he chooses those particular to the 
scene that he is depicting, selecting always such modifications of each color 
as will express the very atmosphere that he wishes to give to his picture. 
In this way we will find that the painter has at his disposal varying shades 
of red, different tints of blue, greens which contain more yellow and others 
which border on the black. The Papal manufacture of mosaics in Rome 
differentiates actually between a little over 25,000 distinct color variations. 
Tone-color, to be sure, is not able to take on such a formidable number of 
gradations, but there are enough to give it a wide range of different qualities 
which will react differently upon the listener. 

It should be remembered that tone-color proper is one of the three 
fundamental characteristics that constitute musical sounds, the other two 
being pitch and intensity. Therefore the term tone-color should not be 
mistaken for any one of the two others. A given tone-color may be applied 
to musical sounds of different pitch, high and low, and of different inten- 
sities, loud or soft. 

The following table will serve as first aid in " registration " or the use 
of organ-stops (tone-colors) either singly or in combination. 


FOR "NEUTRAL" SCENES (no emotion) scenery; action! String tones, 16', 8', 4/ 
having no definite intensity ; views from an aeroplane I 2', as solo with accompani- 
(when the hum of the motor is the only sound) or views i ment and in 4-pt. har- 
from a great height. Also (see special effects) wind, J mony. 
rain, etc. 


Love solo flute 4' ace. of strings or harp. 

close harmony strings 16', 8', 4', 2' and Vox 


saxophone solo strings 8', flute 8' accom- ** 


Springtime, sunshine . flutes, 16', 8', 4', 2' and strings. 
Joy same as above, intensified in volume by coupling the 

various manuals together. 

Hope. flute 8' string ace. 

Victory full organ. 

Exaltation organ tone, rising to full organ. 

Prayer solo flute 8' or Vox Humana 4-pt. harmony. 

Church scenes .... organ tone, coupled & heavy Fed. 
Impressive dignity . . organ tone, coupled & heavy Fed. 

Suspicion clarinet solo with string ace. 

Entreaty saxophone solo with string 8' and flute 8' ace. 

Yearning Vox Humana solo with string 16', 8', 4', 2' ace. 

Anxiety full string choir and Vox Humana in 4-pt. harmony 


Temptation .... clarinet or oboe with string ace. 
Hatred soft toned reeds gradually increasing in volume of 

tone to climax. 

Suspense and impending The clarinet alone or any flute that is a near approach 
disaster to an orchestral French horn when used as solo, 

alone, and without the tremulant ; use a string ace. 


Defiance reeds mf. 

Treachery reeds mf. 

Rage reeds, varying the volume of tone according to the 

intensity of the mood. 
Cruelty reed (Cornopean) either as solo and strings 16', 8', 

4', 2' with double st. Diap. 16' as ace. or in 4-pt. 


Torture reeds/. 

(Jrirf oboe or clarinet solo, string and flute ace. or full 

string choir and Vox Humana. 

Despair clarinet solo. 

Passion reed solo played in lower octaves, strings, flute 8' and 

clarinet as accompaniment, mf pedal. 
Renunciation .... Vox Humana or mellow flute 8' played in lower 

octaves of keyboard no pedal. 
Dreaming string choir 16', 8', 4', 2', and harp. Very light 




Shimmering water 

Birds singing . . 
Morning (Dawn) . 



Agitates ("hurries") 
mobs, horse-races, 
wild-west scenes, 
fights, pursuits. 




Scenes of mystery, or 
suppressed alarm, sinister 
forebodings, ghost scenes, 
supernatural apparitions, 


For scenes as mentioned 
above under misterioso, 
for scenes of superlative 

string choir 16', 8', 4', 2' in upper octaves with harp 

arpeggios as ace. Very light pedal. 
Flute Harmonique 4' or piccolo 2'. 
flute 4' as solo strings tremolo ace. ; no pedal 

(increasing in intensity as dawn spreads, beginning 

pp. with crescendo to full organ, if sun bursts forth) . 
mellow flute without tremulant played 4-pt. harmony 

in lower octaves no pedal. 

flutes 8', 4', coupled to oboe 16' and piccolo 2' as 
solo, with flute and string ace., played staccato 
and at a lively tempo, make a bright setting. Use 
light pedal. The heavy Doppel Flote or Grosse 
Flote can be used in burlesque effect, staccato, 
glissando, etc. For "jazz" effects, use strings 8', 
4', and clarinet in right hand ace., "jazzing" with 
the left hand, using saxophone, or heavy flute and 
saxophone with an assertive but not too heavy 
pedal. The xylophone is always used as a solo. 
Use xylophone and piccolo 2', or xylophone, 
clarinet, flute 4' with string 8' and flute 8' accom- 
paniment, light pedal. 

These numbers should be characterized first by their 
rhythm and tempo. The tone-coloring is according 
to the mood joy, suspense, hatred, etc. A pedal 
cadenza often adds to the climax of a fight, mob 
scene, etc. 

Sudden opening and closing of the Crescendo Pedal. 

All of the above effects are intensified or lessened 
by the swell pedals, controlling the volume of tone. 

Softest strings tremolo, and as the situation grows 
more tense the music should rather become softer 
than louder, yet the movement and the mood must 
be sustained. The tremolo will be most effective 
if the speed is accelerated, while the volume of 
tone is lessened. Immediately before the climax, 
it is well to go into a recitative, however short, 
ushering in the climax either by means of an absolute 
silence (in cases of horror or in the presence of 
tragedy) or by a sforzando chord leading into the 
proper motive (in cases of victory or successful 
denouement of the tension). 

The quality of the recitative must always be dramatic, 
that is, it must be expressive of the proper mood 
which it is to portray, either horror or mystery or 
suspense. Samples of recitatives may be found 
in a great many operas where they are employed, 


particularly in passages where the dramatic action 
progresses quickly. To convey the appropriate 
color, make use of the "uncanny" registers of the 
clarinet and bassoon stops; for cruelty, a coarse 
reed such as the Cornopean will prove useful. 

The player will often find moments when, on first 
seeing a picture, the development of the story will 
leave him puzzled ; rather than make a misstep, 
he will do well to abide his time by means of a short 
recitative, until the trend of events becomes 

There are situations in comedy dramas and in farces 
where an occasional recitative will be most fitting ; 
naturally, the treatment of the recitative itself, 
as well as organ stop employed, should emphasize 
the humor of the situation. The use of a heavy 
flute in a burlesque fashion will depict ludicrous 
antics, and that of a light screechy reed maybe 
easily manipulated to indicate gossiping women, 

Avoid constant use of too heavy pedal tone! Nothing gets on the 
nerves of the audience quicker than the ever present deep rumble of the 
pedal. Use pedal 8' rather than pedal 16', and learn to use it as part of 
the harmony, not just hop toad fashion with the left foot, such as this, 

but treat the bass as the foundation of the harmony 
and as an independently moving voice, such as 

!Miijnhijn i^rJfm+M-i.uiUJ- 

v jn ijuun u.n i r nf.f r ir n 

or, for a march time, in the style of the following : 


The best, and the only safe, way of producing special effects, is to 
leave them in the hands of a capable trap-drummer who has provided 
himself with all the hundred and one noise-making apparatuses, now on 
the market, for imitating everything from a baby's cry of " Ma-ma" to a 
horse-laugh, "Ha-Ha"; whistles; squeals; imitations of the various 
sounds made by machinery, i.e. sawmills, motors (aeroplane, automobile, 


motor boats, steam engines, motor cycles) ; shots (cannon, rifle, revolver) ; 
crashes ; breaking glass ; crumbling of walls ; falling timber ; rain ; thun- 
der ; surf ; tramp of marching feet ; knocks ; raps ; burlesque falls where 
the hero, a Charlie Chaplin or Fatty Arbuckle, comes to earth with the 
sound of a clap of thunder assisted by a dozen tin wash-boilers, topped off 
by a Chinese gong. 

There has been much discussion as to whether or not such performance 
comes under the duties of the organist. The writers do not think so. No 
one can play the organ artistically and at the same time work traps. It is 
better therefore to let pass unnoticed such effects as cannot be produced 
easily and legitimately on the organ itself. Of course, on the new unit 
orchestra " organs," these traps are actually a part of the instrument, the 
organist merely pushing a button or tapping a pedal for a certain effect. 

The following are some of the legitimate " special effects" : 

Rain light string tone in quick arpeggii or tremolo. 

Wind and rain light string tone in fast chromatic scales in 3ds, 6ths, and 4ths. 

Wind and rain and thunder all the above with heavy pedal tone, holding down 

two pedal notes at once when rumble of thunder is desired. 
Crash of thunder any heavy chord, played sfz in the lower register, full organ 

and ped., with immediate diminuendo. 

Whistles a minor or augmented chord : '/L ft - or 

Each organist should determine for himself a characteristic chord, by listening 
to the town fire whistle or to the locomotive, and deciphering the tones for 

Bells Almost every theatrical organ has a set of bells ; hence there is no need of 
imitation. On the piano, chimes may be imitated thus : 

Glissando This effect is especially useful in comedy, refined and burlesque. A 
slip or fall is emphasized by a glissando with one hand followed by a bump with 
full organ, swells closed as desired. The glissando is produced by stiffening 
the thumb and dragging it up or down the length of the keyboard, using the 
thumb nail as the point of contact. The glissando is used to illustrate a 
"slip," sudden descent of an aeroplane, whizzing of an automobile around a 
corner, any sliding sensation or one of intense speed. 


Bump or fall Slap the keys with the palm of the hand, lower octaves for a 
heavy fall, upper octaves for lighter effects. 

Silence This is one of the most important and telling effects when properly used. 
Any extremely tense situation is heightened by a moment's silence, just before 
the climax is reached. Suspense, such as when two people, searching for 
each other, are almost in contact yet each unconscious of the other person's 
nearness. In the presence of death, a "close-up" view of a dead person, 
absolute silence is the only adequate description, dramatically, pictorially and 

Recitative Use recitative every now and then to lighten the musical setting, or 
to heighten a tension. 

Xylophone This stop is useful in comedies. Use it only as solo, very staccato, 
with light string ace. 

Approaching a climax Thereby is meant that tense moment when, in a great 
automobile sweepstakes race, the cars are approaching "death curve," or 
when we can see them in the distance coming into the final "home-stretch" ; 
or where a man is on a great height and is about to fall, either to safety or 
destruction, etc., etc. ; in such cases a low menacing rumble is of great help 
in heightening the suspense. This is produced by a trill in the lower octaves, 
with soft string and 16' bourdon tones. Sometimes just a pedal rumble is 
the thing, produced by holding down two adjacent pedal keys. 


or Pedal 

(held to- 

This rumble is frequently noticed in the orchestra during acrobatic acts in 
vaudeville. 1 When the "thriller" of the act is about to take place, the or- 
chestra stops and the snaredrum begins its subtle, sinister rumble, increasing 
in volume until the successful fall or jump takes place, when the whole orchestra 
comes in fortissimo to applaud the performance. 


Galloping horses Any music Allegro ^ seems to convey this effect. "Light 


Cavalry" Overture by Suppe seems to be the most popular selection. 

By playing this rhythm softly the effect of distance is lent ; increasing the 
volume of tone brings the horses nearer in the mind of the listener. A more 
ambitious player may also study the " Ride of the Valkyries " by Wagner, or 
"Mazeppa" by Liszt. 

Jazz band The only way to imitate a jazz band is to hear one of these unique 
organizations. There is no way of describing it. Each and every player 
must hear these peculiar effects for himself and then imitate them according 
to his impression thereof. The general idea is to have one hand play the 
tune, while the other hand "jazzes" or syncopates around it, the pedals 
performing the drum and double bass parts. The ability to lift your audience's 

1 By careful observance of Rood vaudeville performances, many ideas may be gained in 
the way of special effects, i>:irtinil;irly for comedy work. 


feet off the floor in sympathetic rhythm is the truest test ; that you will 
distress the ears of really musical people goes without saying, but you will 
not distress their sense of rhythm. This rhythm on your part must be per- 
fectly maintained, no matter what stunts you may perform with hands and 

Feathered animals 
Hens cackling 



X**^ fj 

r K y ii 

Birds singing high flute in trills chromatically rising and descending 


Cuckoo (or clock) 

(a minor third, not major !) 
Parrot Use a light reed tone in recitative in imitation of a person talking. 

Grotesque animal sounds 
Pigs grunting 


with any tone that will give a "grunting" sound. 
Donkey braying 



(Musical "cue-sheet") 


No. Min. (T)itle or Description Tempo Selection* 

REEL No. 1 

1 1J At screening 2/4 Allegro Farandole Bizot 

2 if T Rosamond English 4/4 Moderate l Rose in the Bud 


3 1} D Harry leaves 2/4 Allegro 1 Farandole Bizet 


4 IT For two months, 4/4 Allegro furioso Furioso No. 1 Langey 

no word came (Battle music) 

5 11 T Then the survivors 4/4 Tempo di marcia The Rookies Drumm 


6 1J D Rosamond and 3/4 Andante sostenuto 1 Romance Milden- 

Berthune berg (1st part only) 

7 3 T After a time 2/4 Allegretto Canzonetta Herbert 

REEL No. 2 

8 3 T Surely you can 6/8 Poco piu lento En Mer Holmes 

help me ? (From Letter D) 

9 1J T Before her lay S/4Andante sostenuto l Romance -- Mildi n- 

berg (1st part only) 

10 2i T Doctor finds body 4/8 Lento Erotik Grieg 

in queer state 

11 1J T So Lady G. sailed 6/8 Andantino Barcarolle Hoffmann 

for the homeland 

12 31 T The first day at 3/4 Moderato Prelude Damrosch 

Saltwoods (From Cyrano) 
REEL No. 3 

13 2 T At last Rosamond 8/4 Andante CantabUe An Indian Legend 

sent for Major Ber- Baron 

14 U T It's a letter from 2/4 Attegretto Air de Ballet Borch 

Uncle Arthur 

15 1 T I am secretary of 8/4 Andante sostenuto l Romance Milden- 


16 2 T Then came agony 2/4 Allegro 1 Farandole Bizet 

17 3 T A little incident 2/2 Agitato l Implorations Neptune 

occurred Massenet 

18 1 J T What an inclosed 2/4 Molto attegro Le Ville Puccini 

note told (Battle music) 
REEL No. 4 

19 2$ T Prompt, etc. 4/4 Risoluto Cry of Rachel Salter 

20 2 T The dregs of life 2/4 Allegretto Canzonetta Godard 

21 2} D Rosamond leaves 8/4 Allegro Appassionato Berge 


22 IT Have you noticed 8/4 Allegretto Air de Ballet Herbert 

any derangement 

REEL No. 5 

23 3 T The breaking 2/2 Agitato l Implorations Neptune 

point Massenet 

24 31 D Jani enters with 6/4 Allegro Flying Dutchman 

urn Wagner (Overture 

omit sailors' song) 

25 1J D Doctor enters 4/4 Andante moderato One Who Has Yearn. ,1 


26 IJ T Wounded, Harry 6/8 Allegretto Love in Arcady Wood 


27 11 T The rainbow's end 4/4 Moderato l Rose in the Bud 

THE END Foster 
1 Repeated Selections 
(With kind permiuion of the " famota Plavert-Latky Corporation." 



Having explained in the foregoing what problems the motion-picture 
organist or pianist has to face, and having shown how to solve them, it 
behooves the aspirant to such position to provide himself with enough 
equipment for a trial engagement. Let us now suppose we are setting out 
for the theater. 

Through the courtesy of the film-producing companies, the organist is 
provided with a " cue-sheet," generally about a week or three days before 
the picture is shown. Illustration of a sample may be found on the 
preceding page. 

By means of this sheet, the player will select his material, timing the 
various numbers, the main theme, and the spaces for improvisation. Hav- 
ing selected the music for a picture, place it in proper order within a folder, 
marked with the name, so that when you arrive at the organ you will not 
be scrambling here and there and everywhere for scraps of paper. 

Tuck your music under your arm and walk into the orchestra pit 
(where the organ console or piano is placed) with a firm tread and a con- 
fident heart. There is no time now for any misgivings. You have entered 
an electric atmosphere. Whatever you feel personally, you will most 
certainly convey to the audience. Nervousness, timidity, or fear must be 
left with your hat in the dressing room outside ; they have no place in the 

Seat yourself leisurely and with confidence. Turn on the lights, arrange 
your music at a satisfactory angle, and you are ready to begin. 

Here we reach an important point. Do not think you have to play 
frantically every moment of the time. This is called most appropriated 
" crowding the picture." When you wish to change your registration at 
the end of a theme, take your hands and feet off the keys and change it. 
Do not, above all things, hold a chord church-fashion on one manual while 
setting up new registration on another. Nor is it obligatory to play during 
the announcement of " coming events." A little silence now and then is 
relished by all audiences. 



Keep in touch with as many concerns that publish " picture music" as 
possible. Renew and enlarge your repertoire as often and as much as you 
can. Visit the music shops, whenever you have an opportunity, and look 
over the novelties in popular music as well as in the better class of publi- 
cations. Never lose sight of the fact that you are placed in a position of 
extraordinary advantage to raise and to improve the musical taste of your 
audience. Use wisdom in combining "lighter stuff" and artistic material, 
work gradually towards a happy union of the two, with music of real worth 

If you are left in doubt concerning any point connected with the question 
of "how to play for the pictures," the authors will be glad to receive your 
communication, in care of the publishers, and will endeavor to answer 
your inquiry as promptly and as satisfactorily as possible. 


Agitato, 38, 55, (see "hurries") 
animal sounds (grotesque), 59 
animated cartoons, 35-37 
anticipating the trend of the story, 3 
anticipation, 18 2 
approach of climax, 58 
audiences, 3 

Battle scenes, 30 
bells, 57 

"breaking" of a theme, 9 
bugle signals, 39 
bump or fall, 55, 58 

Change of organ registration, 12 

change of rhythm, 10-11 

characteristics essential in player, 1 

climax, 32, 55, 58 

comedy (repertoire), 28; (registration), 

comedy agitato, 38 

comedy drama, 37-38, 56 

"comedy touch," 36 

compound stops, 50 

couplers, 48, 51-52 

crash, 55, 57 

crescendo pedal, 52-53 

"crowding the picture," 61 

"cue sheet," 2, 60, 61 

Death, 30 
diapason, 49, 51 
double stops, 51 

Educational films, 40-41 
elegiac moods, 27 
emotional player, 3 
emotions (registration), 54 
exotic moods, 28 
expressiveness of melody, 12, 26 

Facial expression, 5 
fashion pictures, 40 
feathered animals, 59 
feature film, 31-34 
festive moods, 28 
"flash-backs," 34-35 
foundation stops, 48, 49, 51 


Galloping horses, 58 
"given key," 14-21 
glissando, 39, 57 

Handling of organ registers, 7 
how to sit at the organ, 44-45, 61 
humor, 3, 36. 
hurries, 29, 38; (races), 39, 55 

Impressive moods, 28 
improvisation, 7, 22-26 
independence of hands and feet, 46, 47 
intensity of tone, 6 

introduction of diminished-seventh chord 
(for modulatory purposes), 20 

"Jazz," 4, 37, 58-59 

Keyboards, 44, (see also "manuals") 

Legato touch, 47 
light, graceful moods, 27 
local color, 6 
love themes, 27 

Main theme, 8 

manuals, 48 

manual stops, 49-50 

memory, 5 

mental alertness, 3-7 

misinterpretation of picture, 4 

mixtures, 48, 50 

"mock" emotions, 36, 38 

modulation, 13-21; (with pivotal note), 
15-17; (with pivotal chord), 18; (with 
recitative), 19; (with diminished- 
seventh chord), 19-21 ; ("psychologic" 
possibilities), 15; (to dominant of 
prospective key), 15 

moods (registration), 54 

musical atmosphere, 4, 7 

musical "caricature," 36 

musical characterization, 8, 30 

musical interpretation, 4-5, 31-43 

mutation stops, 48, 50 

mysterioso, 55 




Nature themes, 27 
neutral music, 29, 34 
nomenclature of organ stops, 49-51 

Old age, 30 

opera as a model, 6 

orchestra as a model, 7, 47 

Pedal as foundation of harmony, 56 

pedal stops, 51 

pedalling, 45-46 

pistons, 52 

pivotal chord (see "modulation") 

pivotal note (see "modulation") 

popular music, 3, 37, 62 

"prospective key," 14-21 

"psychologic" possibilities of modulation, 

psychological insight, 4-5 

Quint, 50 

Rain, 57 

recitative, 55-56, 58; (transitory), 19 

reed stops, 50, 51 

registration, 7, 9, 47, 53-56 

related keys, 14-15 

repertoire, 3-30 

resourcefulness, 1, 7-26 

Scenery musically illustrated, 6, 12, 41- 

43; (registration), 54-55 
selection of musical material, 61 
sesquialtera, 50 
silence, 6, 58 

slap-stick comedy, 35-37, 56 
special effects, 36, 56-59 
staccato touch, 47 
standard overtures, 29 

storm scenes, 30 
"striking" themes, 12 
subsidiary themes, 8 
suspension, 18 l 
swell pedals, 52 

Tempo, 6 
tension, 55, 58 
theatrical organ, 44-56 
theatrical values, 5 
thematic development, 8-13, 26 
thunder, 57 

tonality (changes in), 13 ; (character of), 13 
"tone color," 53 
tragedy, 30 
transition, 13-21 
transposition, 21-22 
traps, 56 

travel views, 41-43; (inappropriate 
music), 4 

Unison pitch, 48 

Variety (in metre), 11; (in tempo), 13; 

(in keys), 13 
vaudeville effects, 58 
villanous characters, 30 
vox humana, 54 

Waltzes, 29, 39, 40 
water scenes, 41, 55 
weekly news pictures, 38-40 
whistles, 57 
wind, 57 

Xylophone, 55, 58 
Youthful characters, 30